The leadership challenge against the Prime Minister is "an act of self harm" and "damaging" the public's trust, the Conservative candidate to be Stroud MP has said.

Siobhan Baillie, picked by the Tories to run in Stroud earlier this year, has declared her backing for Theresa May ahead of the confidence vote later today.

She said: "I’m so disappointed by the leadership challenge at this time. It is an act of self harm.

"Clever arguments, technicalities, battles and politicking from all parties are damaging trust.

"People are looking to the whole House to find a way forward and implement the referendum result."

Ms Baillie campaigned for Remain in 2016 but has previously spoke on the need to deliver Brexit in the wake of the vote.

Voicing her opposition to a second referendum, she previously told the SNJ: “I do not support a second referendum as the focus needs to be on securing a good deal with the EU that protects jobs and prosperity in Stroud, the Valleys and the Vale.

“The British people voted to leave the EU and it is essential for democracy and trust that the decision is implemented."

Conservative MPs begin voting on whether to back Mrs May at 6pm.