Johnson allies close ranks against Sunak in race to choose next prime minister

Allies of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have closed their ranks on Wednesday against former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak in the midst of the race to elect the next head of government.

Shortly after Sunak announced the launch of his candidacy to become the next Conservative leader — a race in which many see him as a front-runner — Johnson’s allies have begun to turn their backs on him.

James Cleverly, who was appointed a week ago as education minister, has accused Sunak of “being a Treasury puppet” and being behind a plot against the prime minister, as reported by ‘The Times’.

“I think what some people were doing was trying to create conditions to favor a leadership contest. There are people like Liz Truss who have defended the Government’s decisions and have been day in and day out working to get done what had to be done. People will draw their own conclusions,” she said.

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In relation to his role as minister he has pointed out that he seemed a “mere spokesman for the Treasury” and that his management “could not be differentiated from what would have been carried out by a Labor government.” “We need to make it clear that you can’t keep taxing to solve every challenge, you need to unlock economic growth,” he said.

On the other hand, Brexit Secretary of State for Opportunity Jacob Rees-Mogg and Culture Minister Nadine Dorries are leaning in favor of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to become the next prime minister.

A recent poll indicates that only about 12 percent of Conservative MPs would choose Sunak — who has asked not to demonize Johnson and said he is a remarkable man — for the job. The poll is led by Penny Mordaunt, also a favorite to take the post, although she has only 20 percent support.

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This same Tuesday, the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, has ruled out running as a candidate and has confirmed that for the moment she has not decided who to support, according to information from the BBC television network.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps has also withdrawn from the race to succeed Johnson but has announced that he will support Sunak, as indicated by the now Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, who already announced five days ago that he himself will not run. According to Raab, Sunak “has what it takes” to be prime minister.

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