MP refuses to be drawn on preferred Tory leadership candidate

George Freeman MP speaking at the official opening of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture:

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has refused to reveal whether he would choose Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak to be the next Tory leader - Credit: Archant

George Freeman has refused to be drawn on who his preferred candidate is to become the new leader of the Conservatives. 

The MP for Mid Norfolk had previously backed Penny Mordaunt in the race to be the next prime minister, even running her campaign. 

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt during an event at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to mark the first deploym

George Freeman had backed Penny Mordaunt to be the next prime minister - Credit: PA

But Ms Mordaunt was eliminated in this week's final vote, leaving former chancellor Rishi Sunak and foreign secretary Liz Truss as the final two.

Instead of revealing his preference, Mr Freeman said he was more concerned about the party's wider appeal. 

"Both the candidates are competing for the party's vote, but I hope they recognise it is just as important they carry the public support," he added.

The Conservatives' George Freeman has held his seat in Mid Norfolk. Picture: Archant

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has refused to reveal his preferred candidate for the Tory leadership - Credit: Archant

"This person is going to have to take big decisions on the cost of living, climate change and international affairs, and they are going to need to carry the support of the public with them.

"I hope Liz and Rishi will campaign not just for Conservative votes, but for the trust and respect of the broader public we are here to serve."