Andrea Leadsom's campaign manager has admitted "rookie mistakes" in the MP's failed Tory leadership bid

Mark Sands
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Andrea Leadsom Pulls Out Of The Conservative Leadership Race
Leadsom pulled out of the leadership race just a week after formally launching on 4 July (Source: Getty)

A high-profile interview which saw Andrea Leadsom accused of attacking Theresa May for not having children was “a cock up”, her former campaign manager has admitted.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Festival last weekend, Conservative MP Tim Loughton claimed Leadsom was being “set up” by journalists, but maintained the decision to give the interview was “a rookie mistake”.

In early July, Leadsom gave an interview to the Times in which she claimed that being a mother gave her “a very real stake in the future” of the country.

It was taken as an attack on her rival for the Tory leadership, Theresa May, and Leadsom pulled out of the contest just days later.

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And according to Huffington Post, Loughton last weekend admitted the interview was a mistake in an interview with comedian Matt Forde.

“It was a cock up. She wasn’t supposed to give any interviews over that weekend. It had been a completely knackering week. So on that Thursday evening I told her go home, get some rest and get your head round the fact she was going to have a nine week campaign that could end up in her being prime minister. Don’t do any interviews,” Loughton said, blaming an “idiot press officer” for agreeing to the interview.

And Loughton also claimed that he had discovered a journalist was planning to ask Leadsom about May's diabetes, and whether it would affect her ability to lead the country.

The MP admitted that a march to support Leadsom's campaign was also “a cock up”, and he launched a swingeing attack on former skills minister Nick Boles, who was caught trying to rally May supporters behind Michael Gove in a bid to block Leadsom's bid.

“What a tosser. That was the end of him,” Loughton said.