Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach has thrown her weight behind Rory Stewart's campaign to become the new leader of the Conservative Party.

Writing for The Times newspaper, Ms Sandbach – whose constituency covers Malpas and Audlem, among other areas – believes Mr Stewart represents the only candidate, in her view, who can deliver Brexit and win a General Election.

She believes that his experience as a diplomat and a minister will put him good stead, and becomes the fifth Conservative MP to publicly support Mr Stewart.

"MPs and party members face a difficult choice over the next couple of weeks," she said. "Not only do we have to choose a leader of our party, we must choose a leader for the whole of our country.

"A new prime minister will have to take over at a time of incredible change and must immediately be able to represent Great Britain on the world stage.

"They must be able to deliver Brexit and heal the wounds of the referendum campaign. However, this is not enough. They must also be able to win an election campaign.

"This will not be an easy task, and we cannot take for granted that people will recognise the risks Labour pose. We need a leader who inspires the public and broadens our party, not someone who will risk our reputation for economic competence.

"A 'Conservative [Jeremy] Corbyn who pleases our base but doesn’t reach out beyond it is the last thing our party needs.

"While there are several good candidates for leader, there is only one who I believe meets all these criteria.

"Rory has represented this country to the world as a diplomat and a minister. He has shown a genuine commitment not only to delivering Brexit but to understanding the complexity of it.

"Most of all he has shown the degree of honesty and straight-talking charm that any prime minister will need when dealing with a divided parliament and the EU."

While his leadership campaign is only a couple of weeks old, he has shown a remarkable ability to inspire and enthuse the public. No other candidate could pull a crowd of more than 200 people to Hyde Park with only a day’s notice.

"No other candidate has been as open and accessible as Rory. He has put himself out there and will continue to do so. Only a leader like this can bring the Conservative Party and the country together."

There are 11 candidates for the role, which will see the winner become prime minister, unless a General Election is called, but Mr Sewart is reportedly well behind front runners Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove, in terms of support of his fellow MPs.