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May is Tories’ best and only option – Tory MP Mercer

Highly regarded backbencher Johnny Mercer urged the Prime Minister to do more to set out her vision for the country.

Theresa May needs to do more to set out her vision for the UK, a prominent Conservative MP said.

The Prime Minister is “the best and the only option” to lead the Tories “at the moment”, Johnny Mercer said.

But the backbencher – who has been tipped as a potential future leader – said Mrs May was “in a very difficult position” over Brexit.

“This is what people voted for, people did know there was going to be a period of uncertainty,” he said.

“Like anybody else, I would like to see a vision on it.”

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Johnny Mercer urged Theresa May to set out her vision for the UK (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/(Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)/PA)

There are “fundamental questions” she needs to answer but “there is no point going into a negotiation saying ‘this is what I want from it’ and showing all your cards straight away,” he acknowledged.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Plymouth Moor View MP insisted that Brexit was “not the defining issue” of the Conservative Party.

With an eye on May’s local elections, he said: “We need to see more vision, we need to give people something to vote for.”

The Conservatives need to “do a bit better” at getting their message across, he said.

But he insisted that it was not in the party’s interest to oust Mrs May.

“She is the best and the only option at the moment,” he said.

“We are going through a very difficult transition phase at the moment and she is clearly the best person to lead us through that.”

Mr Mercer added: “When you say you are going to do something, there is a window of opportunity to get that done where the British public will stick with you.

“I do think we have to do better on a domestic agenda, we have to start answering some of the fundamental questions of our time – but we are doing that.”

“There is more to this party than Europe.”

He insisted the Prime Minister was showing leadership by managing the warring Brexit factions in the Conservative Party.

“She has got these two sides who are diametrically opposed on some issues and it is being kept together.”

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