Tonbridge’s Tugendhat for No 10? ‘It won’t be tomorrow’

Lee Colyer

TOM TUGENDHAT caused a stir in the wake of Theresa May’s speech to the -Conservative Party Conference last week by saying he had ambitions to hold the highest office in the land.

The Prime Minister coughed and spluttered her way through her key address as a comedian handed her a P45 and letters fell off a sign on the wall behind her.

While Tory grandees lined up to pledge support for their embattled leader, the Tonbridge & Malling MP was asked by ITV Meridian’s political correspondent Phil Hornby: “Do you want to be Prime Minister?” He replied: “Of course, I bought a ticket so why wouldn’t I want to win the lottery?”

Mr Hornby later tweeted: “Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, tells me he wants to be Prime Minister (one day)”

Mr Tugendhat has been an MP for two years, having been elected in 2015 with 59.4 per cent of the vote – a figure which he increased to 63.6 per cent this summer despite his party losing its majority in Parliament after a disastrous campaign.

The former Army officer, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has also been appointed chair of the influential Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Arabic speaker who studied Islamics at -Cambridge is regarded as a leading light in the next generation of Tories stalking the corridors of power.

He told the Times last week that the fresh faces in the -government might well get their chance to sit ‘at the table in No 10’ – but not yet.

“I got into politics because I think we all have a duty to do our best to make our country and community the best place to live,” he said.

“That’s why it’s a privilege to serve as the MP for our town, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and would be an honour to have an even greater voice to do what we know to be right for our country.

He added: “There are many great MPs who were elected in 2015 and one of us may get the chance to sit at the table in No 10, but we’re all new and it won’t be tomorrow.”

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