I WANT to talk to you about the future leadership of our country.

I’m proud to see an outstanding and diverse range of candidates put themselves forward, and we are now down to our last two — Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

In my new Cabinet Office role, my focus has been on bringing stability to the government operation and making sure there is a delivery engine ready to go for the new Prime Minister; he or she will have to grip the complex and demanding challenges we are facing from day one.

We need someone who is going to attack the rising cost of living relentlessly and innovatively, using all the tools at their disposal.

MP’s monthly column

MP’s monthly column

They must drive forward the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda with zest — I look forward to seeing money come to Andover for our town centre’s regeneration, it’s long overdue. And our new leader must be steadfast in standing up for Ukraine against Putin’s aggression.

Throughout all this, we have got to throw everything at growing our economy as that’s how we will create prosperity and pay for our public services.

We’re going through a tough time globally — a war, an economic crisis, and the aftermath of a pandemic.

We have two very strong candidates to lead us through it, and I will be listening carefully over the coming days before making up my mind on who to back.