WEST Midlands mayor Andy Street has refused to back any one candidate in the upcoming Conservative leadership contest.

Writing for the ConservativeHome website, Mr Street said that he would  instead outline ‘seven tests’ which he feels any future Prime Minister must pass.

Several Conservative MPs are currently vying for leadership of the party, with current Prime Minister Theresa May expected to officially step down from her role in late July. Among the current frontrunners are Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

However, instead of backing one candidate in particular, the mayor has instead chosen to focus on what the winning candidate will need in order to successfully lead the country.

“So the race is on, and the stakes could not be higher,” he said.

“Against that background I have decided that instead of endorsing one candidate I should set out seven tests for any future Prime Minister.  These are chosen not from a factional or ideological standpoint, but from what I see doing the job of mayor.

“I firmly believe they are in the interests of the people of the West Midlands.

“They build on the strong economic legacy of the last nine years and on the value set of Theresa May. They also accelerate the radical thinking started by David Cameron towards devolution, whilst acknowledging the challenges of urban Britain which have persisted whilst government has been focussed on Brexit.”

The mayor then goes on to outline what these ‘seven tests’ are, saying that the West Midlands needs a Prime Minister who:

1) Is restless in tackling the real issues which matter locally, which means providing well paid jobs, quality housing and skills for the fourth industrial revolution, as well as facing the challenges of climate change, and the future of our town centres.

2) Understands the power of business as a force for good

3)  Champions realism over ideology

4) Recognises the importance of the regions, including a pledge to support HS2

5) Sees the role all our communities have to play

6) Reaches beyond the comfortable to those who are struggling

7) Lives life as an optimist, meaning ‘a Prime Minister who believes in Britain.’

Concluding, the mayor stated that “above all else, the new Conservative leader must be someone who can win,” adding that the “stakes couldn’t be higher.”