Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, has offered his backing to Theresa May in the Conservative leadership election, he has announced today.
Writing in The Spectator, Wilson, the MP for Reading East, says he has made the decision after seeing how the Conservative Party was viewed in many areas. "Having travelled around the country as Minister for Civil Society, I have noticed the growing sense of a ‘them and us’," he writes. "This palpable feeling of frustration with the ‘system’ has led directly to a desire to smash the whole thing to pieces."
He says the EU referendum brought to the surface "decades of growing anguish from sections of the country’s working people" over low wages and pressure on local public services.
Wilson, who says he grew up in a poor household, argues that social mobility remains a major problem "despite the social liberalism that has developed" since he grew up.
He says the next Prime Minister has to challenge the system "as never before in order to increase opportunities for everybody in society".
Wilson says May is best positioned to heal the divisions across the country. "She used last week’s launch to emphasise her credentials as a unifier, a One Nation Conservative, who is passionate about social justice and determined to build a country that serves the many, not just the privileged few," he writes. "May was one of the first Conservative politicians to ‘get’ this, and was bold enough to say it."