Out Conservative MP Justine Greening hints at leadership challenge
Conservative MP Justine Greening is considering challenging Prime Minister Theresa May to the party leadership.
The former education secretary said she “wants to see change” and “might be prepared” to put herself forward to lead the party in an interview to ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday (October 29), ahead of the government’s presentation of the last pre-Brexit budget.
Greening, who in June 2016 became the first female UK cabinet minister to publicly reveal she was in a same-sex relationship, candidly discussed her desire for the Conservative Party to focus more on social mobility.
“I am committed to do whatever I can to make sure that this country for the first time is a place where it doesn’t matter where you’re growing up, you have the same opportunity,” she said.
GMB host Susanna Reid remarked that her statement sounded like “a neat manifesto for a leadership bid,” to which Greening replied: “Things need to change don’t they and people need to have hopes for the future that Britain can be a country that runs differently and more fairly than it does at the moment.”
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Asked whether she is considering to challenge May to the party’s leadership, she answered: “I might be prepared to, but I’m more interested in the Conservative party actually showing what it can do for this country.”
She continued: “Yes, we have to spend a lot of time having to fix the nation’s finances but what we now need to do is discover, maybe rediscover, our own mission, which has got to be how we make sure that young people growing up everywhere in this country have the same access to opportunity. Talent is spread evenly and the challenge with Britain is that opportunity isn’t and that’s what we have got to fix,” she said.
“I didn’t have a life ambition to come into politics, I just want to see change on the ground. It is as simple as that.”
It isn’t the first time that Greening, who also overlooked the Women and Equalities portfolio before she quit the government in January after refusing to be moved to another role during a cabinet reshuffle, expressed her desire for change in the party.
Greening, a Remainer, has previously criticised her party’s “narrow” focus on Brexit—but at the time she “laughed off” a suggestion for a leadership bid, as the BBC reported from the fringes of the Conservative Party conference earlier this month.