WITHAM’S MP says it is her party’s duty to rally behind the new Prime Minister.

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel is calling on her party to bury the hatchet and put their differences aside after Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister on Tuesday.

A staunch supporter of Boris Johnson’s Government, the Witham MP publicly backed the former Prime Minister’s short-lived bid to be reappointed to number 10 before suddenly dropping out of the race.

Mr Johnson’s move left the door wide open for frontrunner Rishi Sunak, with Ms Patel also backing the Richmond MP.

Writing for Conservative Home, Ms Patel issued a rallying cry to the Conservative party’s MPs and voters.

She said: “Our mission is to work night and day to restore public trust and competence in our government.

“Everyone knows that I was a loyal supporter of Boris Johnson.

“He delivered Brexit and the vaccine rollout, and he took on Putin and his war in Ukraine.

“But when he announced that he would not be standing in the leadership contest, I knew that Rishi Sunak was the right choice to lead and unite our country.

“As a party and a country, we have faced too much turbulence.

“Right now, we have a duty to put the public first, to put political differences aside and unite around our new Prime Minister to tackle the unprecedented challenges we face at home and abroad.”

The Witham MP also hinted at how Mr Sunak will approach issues such as the cost-of-living crisis.

She said: “His priorities are supporting hard-pressed families with the cost of living, protecting the most vulnerable, building a sustainably lower tax economy that delivers growth and prosperity, defending all parts of our union and continuing to be Ukraine’s staunchest ally against Putin’s appalling aggression.

“On the economy, he will promote competition and dynamism.

“He will support businesses and entrepreneurs.

“He will encourage the growth of the free market which, properly regulated, can spread opportunity and wealth to everyone.

“With a stronger economy that takes advantage of our global Brexit opportunities, a Sunak-led Conservative Party will focus on delivering the people's priorities, the 2019 mandate and manifesto we were elected to govern on.

“We can’t afford to go backwards, we have to put our political differences aside and work together to move forward.”