BASINGSTOKE'S MP has publicly voiced her candidate of choice in the Conservative party leadership battle.

Taking to social media to outline her support for her colleague, Maria Miller MP named Penny Mordaunt as her preferred new leader.

The fellow Hampshire MP, who represents Portsmouth North, currently serves as trade minister and is one of eight Tory MPs who have thrown their hat in the ring so far, after a collapse in party support forced Boris Johnson's resignation on Thursday (July 7).

Ms Mordaunt previously heavily suggested she would stand, sharing an article on Saturday night from Dr Gerard Lyons, Mr Johnson’s former chief economic adviser as London mayor, which states she would make a “great prime minister”.

She also pushed back against those who may want to depict her as “woke” in a Twitter thread early on Sunday morning (July 10), as she sought to clarify how she would define a woman.

She has since launched her campaign, entitled pm4pm, writing: "Our leadership has to change. It needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship."

Backing Ms Mordaunt, Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, tweeted: "I support Penny Mordaunt to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and next Prime Minister because she has a clear vision for our country, proven track record in Government at the highest level, doesn't duck the tough issues, and brings people together."

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke wants Government to focus on country- MP

Eight Tories have so far put themselves forward to replace Mr Johnson as party leader and Prime Minister.

Former health secretaries Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid have both pledged to slash corporation tax as they announced separate bids for the Tory leadership.

It comes after two serving Cabinet ministers, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, revealed their intention to run for the top job in the space of an hour.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that after “careful consideration” and discussion with colleagues and family, he would not stand to be party leader and the next prime minister.

In addition to Mr Hunt, Mr Javid, Mr Zahawi, Mr Shapps and Mr Sunak, Attorney General Suella Braverman, ex-minister Kemi Badenoch and senior Tory Tom Tugendhat have launched their own bids.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is also widely expected to stand, with the Mail on Sunday reporting she will seek to advocate “classic Conservative principles”, and could declare her candidature as soon as Monday.

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