Rishi Sunak will become the next Prime Minister of the UK after gaining the backing of Tory MPs today.

Mr Sunak was the only Tory leadership candidate to get the backing of at least 100 Conservative MPs, meaning he will become leader without the party’s members having a vote.

The former Chancellor was initially opposed by Boris Johnson, who backed out of the leadership race over the weekend despite claiming to have received sufficient support from MPs to continue, and Penny Mordaunt, who was unable to gather the 100 backers needed to proceed in the contest.

The Northern Echo contacted North East MPs to get their reaction to Mr Sunak becoming our latest Prime Minister.

Peter Gibson, Conservative MP for Darlington  

The Northern Echo: Darlington MP Peter GibsonDarlington MP Peter Gibson (Image: The Northern Echo)

Darlington MP Peter Gibson said: “I am delighted that our greatest friend who developed Freeports, who determined the Economic Campus at Darlington, and who led the support through covid is taking over as leader of our party.

"Rishi is great friend to me and my immediate next door neighbour. Having worked with on many occasions over the past 8 years I’m delighted to see him secure this role.

"We now need a period of certainty stability and I know he is the man to deliver that.”

Ben Houchem, Tees Valley Mayor, Conservative 

The Northern Echo: Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchem Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchem (Image: The Northern Echo)

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I'd like to congratulate Rishi on becoming Prime Minister. He's helped to deliver projects across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that will create long term opportunities that will transform our area. From the UK's first and largest Freeport in Redcar through to the new Treasury Campus in Darlington, he's been a huge ally and friend to our area and I will hold his feet to the fire to make sure progress continues now he's Prime Minister.

“I hope this is the end of the ridiculous saga that's occurred over recent months and that Rishi, leading the Government, can now concentrate on getting us through the difficult months ahead.”

Mary Kelly Foy, Labour MP for City of Durham

The Northern Echo: Mary Kelly Foy, Labour MP for City of DurhamMary Kelly Foy, Labour MP for City of Durham (Image: Google)

Dehenna Davison, Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland 

The Northern Echo: Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna DavisonBishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison (Image: The Northern Echo) Dehenna Davison tweeted today:

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North

The Northern Echo: Alex Cunningham MPAlex Cunningham MP (Image: Google)

"As a MP neighbouring Teesside, perhaps our area will benefit from this appointment and that Rishi Sunak will remember his commitment from the first leadership contest and “double down” on levelling up.

"Sadly his record doesn’t fill me with much hope. As a Chancellor he failed to grow the economy, get a grip on inflation, and presided over a startling increase in child poverty in Teesside and the North East – and he even went as far as opposing measures like rolling out free school meals over holidays which would have made some attempts to tackle this. Not only has he championed policies which have failed to address – and actively contributed to – widening inequalities, he has played a key role as a government minister in introducing many of them.

"Rishi Sunak has been crowned Prime Minister without uttering a word to the British public about how he will run the country or tackle the serious issues facing communities like mine in Stockton North, and without anyone beyond the small electorate of Tory MPs having the chance to vote. The Tories are treating the British public with contempt.

"Rishi Sunak has no mandate and no vision. He offers more of the same failed Tory dogma that has caused so much pain across our communities. We need a general election so the public get a say on the future of Britain – and the chance for a fresh start with Labour.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed

The Northern Echo: Anne-Marie TrevelyanAnne-Marie Trevelyan (Image: Google)

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central

The Northern Echo: Julie Elliott MPJulie Elliott MP (Image: Google)

Ms Elliott said: "The Tories have chosen Rishi Sunak as the next PM, again without any mandate from the British public, and without any ideas as to how to sort out this economic mess he helped create. 

"This is yet another chapter in the 12 years of chaos and mismanagement from Tories.

"The only answer is a change in government. Labour has a plan for the economy, a plan to supporting working people, and a plan to deal with the Conservative cost of living crisis. We need a general election now."

Richard Holden, Conservative MP for North West Durham

The Northern Echo: Richard Holden, MP for North West DurhamRichard Holden, MP for North West Durham (Image: Google)

Mr Holden said: "This is a good result for the country. It shows the consensus and unity of the Parliamentary Party behind economic credibility and political competence. I look forward to working with our new Prime Minister for the people of North West Durham like I have done since I was elected in 2019."

Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West

The Northern Echo: Sharon Hodgson MPSharon Hodgson MP (Image: Google)

Ms Hodgson said: "Rishi Sunak has no mandate, and has no idea what the people of Washington and Sunderland West need. It's time for a general election and the chance for a fresh start with Labour."

Matt Vickers, Conservative MP for Stockton South

The Northern Echo: Matt Vickers MPMatt Vickers MP (Image: Google)

Mr Vickers said: "Having known Rishi since before he was even a Member of Parliament, I am confident that he is the best person to take on the immense economic challenges our country faces. With his experience and determination, I am hopeful that he can turn the ship around. I am pleased that he has been elected as our next Prime Minister.

"Now is the time for the party to fully get behind Rishi in the interests of the country. I look forward to giving him my full support as he gets on with the job."

Andy McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough 

The Northern Echo: Andy McDonald MPAndy McDonald MP (Image: Google)

Mr McDonald said: "Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough, said: "We will now have our fifth Tory Prime Minister in six years and the third in just seven weeks. Rishi Sunak has absolutely no mandate from the public to lead our country. He has been elected purely by other self-interested Tory MPs. This chaotic Government is damaging our economy and ruining lives. They are not governing - they are too busy fighting for their own survival. A general election is needed now."

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar & Cleveland

The Northern Echo: Jacob Young MPJacob Young MP (Image: Google)

Paul Howell, Conservative MP for Sedgefield 

The Northern Echo: Paul Howell MPPaul Howell MP (Image: Contributor)

Mr Howell said: "Having supported Rishi Sunak to be our next Prime Minister both in the summer and through the last week I am clearly delighted to see him appointed as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party and shortly as our next Prime Minister.

"In the aftermath of the costs of the Covid pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine we need someone with the clarity and economic competence that Rishi can deliver. When you also factor in his support for our region by delivering the economic campus to Darlington I am convinced he is the right person for the job."

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