I have been overwhelmed by a huge number of messages of support and goodwill from so many people. Thank you all so very much for your kindness.
In standing for the leadership, it was always about doing what is in the best interests of our Country, and my decision to withdraw was to avoid a protracted campaign that could have proved economically damaging for too many people. You can read my letter to Graham Brady here, as well as his handwritten reply here.
Our new Prime Minister has already made great steps toward unifying the party and country, and making progress on an orderly exit from the EU. She has my full support. I am delighted that she has asked me to serve as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and I look forward very much to delivering on the great opportunities that lie ahead for the UK.
I have returned almost all of the many generous donations made to my campaign, and where donations were anonymous, I will be giving the money to the Parent Infant Partnership UK, a charity which seeks to give every baby the best start in life through support for secure attachment, a subject very close to my heart.