West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock launches Tory leadership campaign

Matt Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Matt Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS - Credit: Archant

Health Secretary and West Suffolk Matt Hancock has promised to offer the country a “fresh start” as he launches his campaign to become the next Prime Minister.

Mr Hancock says the country needs "a leader not just for the next six weeks or six months, but the next six years and more", and will set out his vision to make the next decade "the soaring twenties".

Although the bookies currently rank him as a 100/1 outsider to take over from Theresa May as Tory leader, Mr Hancock says he wants his campaign "to be about the future of Britain".

He added that "inside the heart of every person there is something of value", and that it is the role of the Government to "help them release it".

Formally launching his campaign on Monday June 10, Mr Hancock will reveal his mantra is "move fast and make things happen", a twist on the Silicon Valley motto of "move fast and break things".

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"We can't allow this sane, sensible country to enter a new age of nihilism and narrow nationalism," he said.

"So, I refuse to be the leader offering simplistic or populist solutions to such profound change.

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"Instead, an emotionally-charged platform to improve lives, rooted in objective fact.

"Some people say these changes are too big and too inevitable for us to do anything about it. I say no. We are masters of our own destiny. We can win this fight.

"Ultimately, the success of liberal democracy and our way of life depends on it. We can and must work with this change, master it, bend it to our benefit.

"Not 'move fast and break things', that's wrong. My mantra is 'move fast and make things happen'."

Mr Hancock says that if he wins the job of Prime Minister, he will put backing business and winning the case for capitalism at the heart of the next general election campaign to defeat the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Hancock has previously said a no-deal Brexit is not a credible option and Parliament would never allow it.

He has set out a Brexit delivery plan where the UK will leave by October 31, including establishing an Irish border council, made up of UK and Irish officials, to prevent the return of a hard border and time-limiting the backstop.

The former culture secretary has also pledged to scrap business rates for small retailers and increase a tax on internet companies to "level the playing field" for high streets.

He has also set out his vision for a foreign policy that boosts trade and "resists protectionism", while also promising to "uphold our values".

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