30 May 2024

INTERVIEW: John Glen welcomes Johnson’s resignation and says Sunak is a “fantastic candidate” for next PM

Following his resignation from his ministerial role of Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen has exclusively spoken to Love Salisbury about who he thinks could be the next Prime Minister and his plans for Salisbury as he returns to the backbenches.

Mr Glen says he welcomes yesterday’s resignation from the Prime Minister, acknowledging that, “He has come to terms with what his colleagues were saying and he’s decided to resign and I welcome that decision as reflected in my decision to leave to help us get to this point.”

While the MP who has represented Salisbury for 12 years didn’t express his views on whether Boris Johnson should stand down as Prime Minister immediately, or remain until a successor can be found, he explained, “It’s normal practice for the incumbent to act as a caretaker – that’s what happened when Theresa May decided she was going to leave and I think that’ll happen during the next couple of months.”

Mr Glen adds that right now, the whole country is focused on who’s going to become the next leader and for him, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is a “fantastic candidate”.

“I think Rishi Sunak is a fantastic candidate but there are obviously other candidates and I’ll shortly make my views known formally. Obviously, I’ve worked with Sajid Javid too, who’s a great friend of mine, so I’ve got some difficult choices to make very imminently.”

At Salisbury Radio’s studios today, he says that he will “Absolutely not” throw his hat into the ring for the top seat, “At this time”.

“That’s not my priority at this time, my priority is to work as a constituency MP. I’ve just come out of five years as a government minister, this is a time of significant change but I don’t think this is the time for me to be running as prime minister no.”

Love Salisbury’s Head of News Beth Doherty and Salisbury MP John Glen pictured in Salisbury today (8th July 2022)

As expressed in his resignation letter, Mr Glen is keen to return to the backbenches to dedicate himself to the service of the people of Salisbury and South Wiltshire.

What does that mean for the people of Salisbury?

“It’ll give me more freedom when I’m in Westminster to speak up on issues for Salisbury residents in ways that I couldn’t before when I was on the payroll vote. Which I have been for 10 years.

“As we come out of Covid, lots of businesses in Salisbury are anxious about the future. We’ve got real challenges with the inflation in the economy at the moment.

“So I want to support local businesses and that means supporting people in jobs and working out how we can get more investment in the city. That’s always been my focus but also with the strains on the delivery of public services, also being there to listen, to pick up challenges and to try and support people through what is a challenging time for the country as a whole.”

With national retailers like Primark moving into the city, and Fayre on the Square returning this month, does John think the future of Salisbury looks bright?

“Yes. You mentioned the Primark investment but there are others in the pipeline with Bradbeers seeking to take over Debenhams and obviously the Everyman Cinema as well.

All of these investments are very, very good and actually really positive endorsement of the potential that Salisbury has as a venue for local businesses.

“So I’m always optimistic – not to say that there aren’t challenges and I don’t ever want to be complacent about the things that need to be addressed but overall I think we are in good shape.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH BETH DOHERTY BELOW:

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Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty