SWINDON MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson have endorsed former foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party leadership race.

In an article for website Conservative Home, the pair said frontrunner Mr Johnson was the "best choice for prime minister".

They wrote: "The task is now on to choose the best person to lead our country and our party through these unprecedented circumstances, delivering Brexit so that people can once again begin to see the excitement and progress the Conservative Party can deliver. We believe that person is Boris Johnson."

Mr Buckland and Mr Tomlinson added: "We are looking for a Prime Minister who will seek to reach agreement with the EU, who will be realistic and honest in that process and who will be able to unite the nation behind any deal that is done."

The pair praised Mr Johnson's record as Mayor of London, saying the former Vote Leave leader was also able to speak warmly and directly to the public. 

"At a time when we seem to be hearing more from the extremes of politics than ever before, Boris Johnson will provide the antidote to this. Our politics needs a reboot," they said. 

Mr Buckland's endorsement is seen as particularly significant. The South Swindon MP, who backed Remain in the 2016 referendum campaign, is widely regarded as a supporter of a so-called soft Brexit. 

Mr Johnson has this morning also won the backing of former party leader Iain Duncan-Smith. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the pro-Leave MP said Mr Johnson was the candidate most likely to ensure the UK left the EU by October 31.