Leadership candidate Sam Gyimah: 'As an underdog I can be bolder'

Sam Gyimah

Monday, June 3, 2019

Conservative leadership hopeful Sam Gyimah has said he can be "bolder" than other candidates because he is an "underdog".

The ex-universities minister became the thirteenth Tory MP to launch a leadership bid, and is the only candidate supporting a second EU referendum.

"To move forward and bring the country together there has got to be something in that referendum for everyone," he told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"For this to be fair, you cannot have a structure which splits the leave vote."

He continued: "One way is you have remain and leave at stage one, and stage two becomes Theresa May's deal or no deal."

According to Ladbrokes, Mr Gyimah's chances of becoming Conservative leader are 200/1, compared with 6/4 for frontrunner Boris Johnson.

Sharing his odds of 200/1 are Johnny Mercer, Jesse Norman, Amber Rudd and Philip Hammond, none of whom have officially thrown their hat in the ring.

"Given that I am an underdog, I think there is permission for me to be bolder and to say things that those who are the frontrunners might not say," Mr Gyimah added.

"There is a wide range of candidates, but a narrow set of views."

In a tweet outlining his plans for a second referendum, Mr Gyimah wrote: "My plan will be a new referendum with a new set of questions - to bring us together and solve the impasse. Step 1. Leave vs Remain. Step 2. Deal vs No Deal.

"Parliament will debate the approach in detail. This is a credible way to resolve the stark choice we face. #backsamsplan".

It received a mixed response, with one Twitter user replying: "Sam, we already did step 1 three years ago, remember? How are you getting on with that?."

And another posted: "We cannot have another vague Leave:Remain [sic] vote! It has to be - “this is the deal with which we leave. It’ll cost xx amount, will allow to control immigration like this, will deal with the Irish Border like this.. etc. Leave like this or Remain."

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