SOUTH Cumbrian MPs are divided in their choice for the next Prime Minister following a head-to-live television debate.

A number of MPs are split in their opinion of who should secure the Tory leadership seat.

Contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt engaged in a live debate last night on ITV in a bid to become the next Prime Minister.

Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson took the opportunity to battle in debate on the big issues including Brexit, the economy and their potential leadership styles.

Furness MP John Woodcock hopes the winning candidate will support the community.

He said: "I will of course beat the drum for Barrow and Furness whoever wins the Tory leadership but I fear for the impact on our community if it turns out the winner is not up to the job.

"I worked closely with Jeremy Hunt when he was health secretary to persuade him to invest in our brilliant new maternity unit at Furness General and was struck by the personal attention he gave the issue.

"As for Boris Johnson. Well, let’s see.

"Both candidates have thankfully said they are committed to maintaining the nuclear deterrent, unlike lifelong CND supporter Jeremy Corbyn, but they will need to keep the invest flowing into the submarine programme to ensure we get Dreadnought built in time."

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson both had the opportunity to make short opening statements at the beginning of the programme, and closing statements at the conclusion of the debate, which was held in front of a studio audience of around 200 people.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron criticised the ‘leadership and vision’ shown from both candidates.

He said: “Boris Johnson’s pathetic refusal last night to stand up for a British diplomat in the face of an unwarranted attack by a foreign leader has brought shame on our country.

"This leadership election as a whole is a national embarrassment and has shown a complete lack of leadership and vision from both candidates on the main issues that face Britain today.”

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said the two candidates shared similar views on Brexit.

She said: "I think that last night’s debate showed that there is little between both candidate’s policies on Brexit - it was a detail versus optimism contrast, when actually both is incredibly important.

"We must leave on October 31, we all know that and we all know that a withdrawal agreement with a Irish backstop will not get through Parliament."