Dear Braintree Constituent

It was only by the faith the majority of you have shown in me that I have had the privilege of representing you all in Parliament. You therefore deserve to be the first to know that I intend to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party and the country.

I will always be grateful for your support and will always be your representative and champion, whatever the outcome of this contest.

Both the country, and my party, are beset with division. We cannot bring the country back together unless the party of government is united, and the party cannot unite if it is led from its fringes.

Brexit must be delivered.

I campaigned vigorously to leave the EU. I believe the case for Brexit is still valid, and I have not wavered in that belief. But I have never been blind to the complexities of the process and I have always been uncomfortable with those who offer artificially simple solutions.

It would be best for the UK to leave the EU with some form of deal, and the EU must now recognise the need for flexibility as the current deal has been rejected by our parliament. It is my job in Government is to oversee preparations for a no-deal Brexit. That this is not my preferred choice, but if it must happen, I am ready to lead through what may be difficult and un-charted waters. I have never ducked tough political decisions.

Remaining is not an acceptable option. A second referendum is shorthand for Remain, put forward by people who want a way to ignore the instruction of millions of voters. Democracy is too valuable to disregard.

Until we deliver Brexit we will not be listened to or trusted by voters. Once it has been delivered, we better have something more inspiring to say than “more of the same”.

To inspire the British people we need to look different, sound different, and offer something new.

I believe I can do that.

We need to tackle the social problems that are dividing us, we need to have fresh ideas for the future. We need to ensure business thrives in every part of our country, providing good jobs, paying for world class public services. We need to make sure those people who feel they don’t have a voice are listened to by politicians, and that politicians then act and fulfil their promises.

Politics like this will benefit the country as a whole and those who live and work in my wonderful Braintree constituency.

I thank you all, even those who do not support my party, for providing the foundation upon which I can make such a bid. I hope if my colleagues see fit to grant me the opportunity to serve them, and the country, you will also see the bright future that we can build for Braintree and Britain.


James Cleverly MP

Read our exclusive interview with James Cleverly here