New Prime Minister: Hemel MP welcomes arrival of his ally into the top job

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Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has celebrated the confirmation that Theresa May will be the UK’s next Prime Minister.

Mr Penning was one of the first MPs to declare their support for Mrs May, who is currently Home Secretary, in the Conservative leadership election.

He was part of her campaign team, having worked alongside her as a junior Home Office minister.

It is not known if Mr Penning will be part of Mrs May’s cabinet when she becomes Prime Minister on Wednesday.

He said: “I am delighted that Theresa May will become the next Prime Minister on Wednesday. She was easily the strongest candidate and has the experience needed to lead our country through the Brexit negotiations in the months ahead.

“As a prominent member of the government she is in the best position to both unify the party and the country and deliver on the Conservative Party manifesto that the government was elected on just last year.

“I have known Theresa for many years and she has the right mix of strength, determination, temperament and compassion needed for the role of Prime Minister.

“The UK has a bright future as we leave the EU and forge a new relationship with both our European neighbours and countries in the rest of the world.”

The Conservative leadership election was prompted after current PM David Cameron announced he would be stepping down as party leader following his defeat in last month’s EU referendum. Although a number of other Tory MPs also stood for the leadership, Mrs May quickly built up an unassailable lead within the Parliamentary party and the election did not go to a vote of the full party membership.

Mr Cameron will also step down as Prime Minister and there will not be a general election.