Boris Johnson would be ‘bound to implode,’ if he returns to No 10
Rishi Sunak has confirmed that he’s running for prime minister, saying that – as Liz Truss’ successor – he would fix the economy and unite the Conservative Party.
The former chancellor tweeted that he is the candidate to prepare Britain for a “profound economic crisis”, and that – during the pandemic – he had helped “steer our economy through the toughest of times.”
Mr Sunak added: “The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities – if we make the right choices – are phenomenal.
“… There will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of the government I lead and I will work day in and day out to get the job done.”
It comes after Steve Baker declared that he is supporting Mr Sunak to become the next PM as Boris Johnson would be “bound to implode” if he returned to No 10.
The Northern Ireland minister, and Mr Johnson’s ally, said that “Boris would be a guaranteed disaster” because of the ongoing inquiry into Partygate.
Mr Baker told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that Mr Johnson “doesn’t have that meticulous compliance with tedious rules.”
Suella Braverman backs Rishi Sunak
Suella Braverman, who was last week forced out from her job as Home Secretary, has endorsed Rishi Sunak in his bid for No 10.
The former Cabinet minister was previously a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson, though did call for him step down the day before he resigned in July, putting her own name into the ring for the leadership contest.
Emily Atkinson23 October 2022 14:04
Liz Truss holding back-to-back farewell parties at Chequers
Liz Truss is holding a series of parities at Chequers, the prime minister’s country mansion, this weekend in a bid farewell to ministers and staff who supported her fleeting premiership.
The outgoing PM held a party for ministers last night, and will host a second shindig tonight to thank her close aides, reports The Sunday Times.
The bill for any private entertainment held at Chequers is footed by the PM.
Emily Atkinson23 October 2022 13:55
The Tory MPs who called on Boris Johnson to resign in summer – but now want him back as PM again
It was only a few months ago that Boris Johnson was booted out of No 10 by Tory MPs after a three year premiership punctuated by scandals and poor governance.
Yet fast forward to the present day and a bevy of Conservative politicians have backed the former Mayor London to once again take the reins after Liz Truss’s resignation last week prompted a leadership contest.
Mr Johnson interrupted his holiday in the Carribbean to race back on Saturday to try and shore up support among backbenchers as he tries to beat former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt to Downing Street.
My colleague Joe Middleton has taken a look at what some of Mr Johnson’s supporters are saying now and what they said only a few months ago…
Emily Atkinson23 October 2022 13:40
Work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith backs Rishi Sunak
Chloe Smith became the latest Cabinet minister to endorse Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership race.
The work and pensions secretary tweeted: “I spoke to Rishi Sunak about his hopes for our country, and I’ve been listening to my local members.
“I intend to back Rishi to be prime minister, acting in the national interest and achieving the stability and opportunity that our nation needs.”
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 13:20
Boris Johnson return to No 10 would ‘freeze’ relations with NI
Relations with Ireland will be “plunged into the freezer” if Boris Johnson returns as prime minister, an architect of the Good Friday peace agreement has warned.
Jonathan Powell, who was Tony Blair’s chief of staff and chief negotiator on Northern Ireland from 1997-2007, said it was vital to have someone “competent and capable” in Downing Street to get talks back on track.
You can read the full story by Andrew Woodcock here:
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 13:00
‘General election territory within weeks if Sunak becomes PM’
Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries said that Britain would be in “general election territory within weeks” if Rishi Sunak becomes prime minister.
The parliamentary inquiry into alleged lies over the Partygate scandal will also move to question Mr Sunak over “what he knew” about the Downing Street parties during lockdown, she said.
This woud “embolden” the Labour Party in their demand for a general election, the former culture secretary added.
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 12:40
‘Johnson says partygate probe must and will run its course’ – ally
Boris Johnson has told his supporters that he will cooperate with a parliamentary inquiry into alleged lies over the Partygate scandal.
His close ally Sir James Duddridge said that Mr Johnson had made clear it “must and will” be allowed to run its course.
There has been speculation that the former PM might attempt to block the probe if he returns to 10 Downing Street.
The investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee was triggered by a vote in the Commons and can be halted only if MPs vote to overturn the decision.
You can read the full story by Andrew Woodcock here:
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 12:20
Home secretary Grant Shapps backs Sunak for PM
Grant Shapps is backing Rishi Sunak to become PM.
The home secretary tweeted: “We need someone who can provide stability and proven economic competence in these challenging times, and Rishi Sunak is that person.
“That’s why I’m backing him in the Conservative leadership contest”.
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 12:00
‘Government needs to be honest about higher taxes’ – Lord King
The average person could have to pay significantly higher taxes for higher public spending in the UK, according to a former Bank of England governor Lord Mervyn King.
He said there “isn’t enough money there amongst the rich to get it back” when it comes to financing the “strong case” for extra spending in certain areas to help recover from the Covid lockdown.
Lord King of Lothbury suggested that it would “in some ways” be “more difficult” than austerity under former Conservative chancellor George Osborne.
He said that public expenditure is going up and that taxes “will have to rise” – which “doesn’t make a happy picture for the next few years”.
The government needs to “honestly” say that there will be a “reduction in the national standard of living” finances after helping Ukraine “confront Russia”, he added.
Lord King, on BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, also said: “The challenge is if we want European levels of welfare payments and public spending, you cannot finance that with American levels of tax rates.
“So we may need to confront the need to have significantly higher taxes on the average person.
“There isn’t enough money there amongst the rich to get it back.”
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 11:40
Raab doubts Johnson and Sunak agreed Tory leadership deal
Conservative former cabinet minister Dominic Raab said he was not expecting a deal between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, who he is backing.
On Saturday night, Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak had talks – reportedly on entering the Tory leadership race on a joint ticket.
Asked if the pair had done a deal during the meeting, Mr Raab told BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “No, I don’t think there’s any issue around deals here and that’s not the right way to proceed.”
He went on to highlight the “range” of support Mr Sunak has among Tory MPs, adding: “What they did have was a very good conversation about the need for unity.”
Mr Raab went on: “I’d love to see Boris Johnson come back to frontline politics, I’m speaking personally.
“But we have this major issue which led to him having to resign, which is ‘partygate’, and in a matter of days, not weeks, he’s going to see televised witness testimony, including his own, which is going to take him right back into that spiral.”
Lamiat Sabin23 October 2022 11:22