MP Cheryl Gillan gives the Bucks Free Press her exclusive behind the scenes account of a hectic few weeks in Westminster.

Thursday 23 June – the UK votes in the European Referendum.

Friday 24 June – the UK votes to Leave the European Union.

On the morning of Friday 24 June – the Prime Minister resigns.

Monday 27 June – the process of the election of a new Conservative Party leader begins…

At the time of writing, the process was going on to elect two Conservative MPs in the leadership election which arose from the resignation of the Prime Minister.

Constituents may have wondered why I did not endorse a candidate and this is to explain why!

In June 2015 I was elected as a Vice Chair of the Conservative 1922 committee. This is the official committee of back-bench MPs.

It is the Chairman of that committee – they used to be called “the men in grey suits”, but that is different these days, for obvious reasons – who puts in train and invigilates, as Returning Officer, the election for a new leader.

After a series of ballots, the numbers of hopefuls are whittled down to two. Their names would then go forward to be considered and voted on by members of the Conservative Party.

The winner from that national ballot would become Leader and now, as the Conservatives are in Government, becomes our next Prime Minister.

As a Vice Chair of the 1922 Committee I am a deputy returning officer for the process and so it is not appropriate for me to take sides.

It was a frantic several days of extra meetings being squeezed into an already bursting diary.

The returning officers first had to supervise the process of the candidates declaring themselves. Again all of us had to be entirely non partisan.

As you will know there were some excitements along that particular route and it did not stop reporters and others asking us our views.

I could however take soundings from my constituents and I did this in the weekend between the contest being announced and the first ballot taking place.

Behind the scenes, all the electoral functions had to be fulfilled, which included preparing the ballot papers, supervising the casting of votes – only MPs in receipt of the Conservative whip can vote - and receiving verifiable proxy votes on behalf of colleagues unable to vote in person. Just like any other elections.

We were fulfilling the role that countless officials and the volunteers who assist them in the polling stations carry out in an election.

But let me say one thing – thank you to all those electoral officials who work each time there is an election or a referendum, to make sure all is carried out properly and fairly.

The outcome we now know and the choice was between Rt Hon Theresa May MP and Andrea Leadsom MP. But then there was a further twist of fate!

The Chairman of the 1922 Committee confirmed the agreement of the Conservative Party on Monday 11 July.

Now we have a new Prime Minister. I really welcome Rt Hon Theresa May MP and I think she will make a marvellous Prime Minister.