North Yorkshire Tory MP and former minister Kevin Hollinrake believes the Tories can win the 2029 general election if they “get the right leader”.

He said he didn't know who the "right leader" could be and he urged his party to take their time over choosing him or her. 

Five days after he was re-elected as Thirsk and Malton MP, Mr Hollinrake told Times Radio: “I would argue we lost it rather than they won it, because look at the percentage share of the vote, no government has ever formed a majority with less than 34 per cent of the vote, it’s quite incredible that’s the case.

“Hats off to them, the winner takes it all, they’ve got the spoils of victory, we need to hold to account for all those things.”

On the timescale for electing a new party leader Mr Hollinrake said: “It should be a few months of a job so we start on that process probably in September and then we elect our leader by the end of the year that’s the kind of timescale I would like.”

He added: “We lost heavily, but as I say not to a popular Labour Government. That’s an opportunity for us. If we get the right leader, we regroup, we unite behind that leader, we can win in 2029. That’s got to be our job.”

Asked if the Tories would spend the next two months analysing a Labour Government or being “distracted” by a leadership contest, Mr Hollinrake told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I personally think we should take longer than that, to get the right person in place.

“We need to take a few months to decide exactly what went wrong and then decide the right person to take us forward and to present a viable challenge to the Labour Party which I think we can do.”

He added: “So if we can regroup, unite, get a good leader, present the alternative, I think we’ll be in good shape to present a viable case for a Conservative government in 2029. That’s what we’re setting out to do so I don’t think there’s any rush to get the right person in place to do that.”

Mr Hollinrake said: “We’ll go forward in terms of finding the right person. I don’t know who the right person will be, I don’t know who’s going to step forward right now.

“But that’s the work of the next few months. I think it’s very, very important that we present two good alternatives for our membership to have the final say on this of course, but that will take a number of months to do that.”