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Tory leadership hopeful Leadsom vows to tackle climate change ’emergency’

The former leader of the House says she can take Britain out of the EU and heal the divisions opened up by Brexit.

Andrea Leadsom has set out her proposals for what she describes as a ‘managed exit’ from the EU by October 31 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Andrea Leadsom has set out her proposals for what she describes as a ‘managed exit’ from the EU by October 31 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Tory leadership contender Andrea Leadsom is promising to take action on the climate change “emergency” as she sets out her plan to heal the divisions of Brexit.

The former leader of the House, who is launching her campaign on Tuesday, will present herself as the “optimistic yet realistic Brexiteer” who can restore trust in politics.

Of the 10 candidates to go forward into the first round of voting on Thursday, she will argue she is the only one capable of offering the “decisive and compassionate leadership” needed to take Britain out of the EU and move the country forward.

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Andrea Leadsom says tackling climate change is the right thing to do (Aaron Chown/PA)

Mrs Leadsom, who has already set out her proposals for what she describes as a “managed exit” from the EU by October 31, will use her address to focus on her programme for her domestic agenda.

She will characterise her plan as “bringing our country back together, healing the divisions, building new homes, securing our streets, helping our businesses to thrive and achieving a carbon-neutral economy”.

On climate change, she will say tackling the issue is not only right for the planet and for future generations, but also offers the chance to develop new “clean” technologies which could rival the UK financial services sector in size and stature.

She will outline her ambitions for a major expansion in housebuilding, to help young people get a foot on the housing ladder while providing new opportunities for those looking to downsize.

Our party has thrived in the past, when it has governed as a champion of the people, providing freedom of choice and opportunity Andrea Leadsom

At the same time, she will stress her support for strong public services,  including schools, policing and the NHS,  while committing to a cross-party commission to deliver a solution for social care.

On the economy, she will promise “low taxes, incentives for enterprise and strong employment opportunities” while warning of the “existential threat” posed by a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

“Our party has thrived in the past, when it has governed as a champion of the people, providing freedom of choice and opportunity, a strong economy and global leadership,” she is expected to say.

Describing what drives her in politics, Mrs Leadsom will cite her parents’ divorce when she was four, and her mother and stepfather’s later success opening a furniture shop in the 1970s in the face of a Labour government that “destroyed incentives”.

At the same time  she will underline her commitment to the “diversity, compassion and opportunity” which make Britain the “envy of the world”.

“Whether your life starts well and gets into difficulties, or starts with problems and ends in triumph,” she will say.

“And whether you were born here and your parents and grandparents before you – or whether you or your parents chose to come here from elsewhere in the world to make this great country their home – every one of us has a stake in our shared future.”

PA

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