TWO Conservative East Lancashire MPs have publicly backed Boris Johnson to be the country’s next Prime Minister.

Andrew Stephenson, Pendle’s parliamentary representative and Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, have both announced they will be supporting the former London mayor in the leadership race.

Theresa May announced she would step down from her three-year tenure as the leader of the Conservative party last month.

A total of 11 MPs are in the race to become the new leader, including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey.

On his decision to back the former foreign secretary, Mr Stephenson said: “I believe he is the right person to lead us out the EU and to continue the work of the last seven years, strengthening our economy, protecting our public services and creating a society where everyone has the chance to succeed.

“It isn’t a decision I take lightly not only are we choosing the next party leader but also the next Prime Minister.

“We need someone who can deliver on Brexit and ensure we meet our manifesto commitment to leave the European Union.

“I know many of you are frustrated we haven’t yet left the EU and I share your frustration.

“As Boris said in his campaign launch video now is the time to unite the country, deliver Brexit.”

MPs will start voting for the new leader on Thursday and will continue with ballots until two candidates remain.

These final two will then to put to the wider Conservative party membership via a postal ballot.

Mr Berry said: “I’m going to back Boris because he’s a man with the plan to ensure that we deliver Brexit.

“If you look at the most recent election results here and the European elections people in this valley, (Rossendale) and in Darwen, want us to get on with it.”

Ribble Valley’s Tory MP, Nigel Evans, said he would not publicly support one particular candidate due to his position as one of two executive secretaries for the 1922 Committee, which plays a huge role in choosing the leader.

He said: “I want a Prime Minster who can deliver us Brexit.”