Update: As Mr Gove is no longer in the race, of the two remaining candidates I am minded to support Mr Hunt, who I believe is the better candidate for the UK and for Scotland.
I have been contacted by a number of constituents this week asking for my views on potential leaders of the Conservative Party and, by extension, our Prime Minister going forward.
In the first round this morning, I cast my vote for Michael Gove. I have noted his performance at the despatch box and his ability to drive through policy and change in the ministerial positions he has held, his work in environmental matters and his support for UK agriculture and fishing. He has a passion for (and understands the importance of) the Union. I also note that, whilst he was prominent in the Leave campaign, he has evolved to be a moderate Brexiteer seeking to leave the EU with a deal. I have supported the deal on three previous occasions and whilst I accept that ‘no deal’ must remain an option, it must remain an option of last resort. I voted remain in the referendum, but as a democrat I fully accept the referendum result.
My support for Mr Gove was severely tested by the revelations in relation to his consumption of illegal substances, but I accept this was a short period in his life some twenty plus years ago. I note after the first round of voting he is placed third in a group of seven who progress to the next round. For the moment, I am minded to continue my support for Michael Gove.
My full views on Brexit can be found here: https://www.billgrant.org.uk/news/my-thoughts-pms-brexit-deal