Boris would refuse ‘demotion’ to Sunak’s cabinet says Bromovsky
Boris Johnson would never take a “demotion” to work in Rishi Sunak’s cabinet, a political commentator has claimed, as reports suggest the late night meeting between the former PM and his chancellor to discuss a deal to avoid another Tory leadership contest failed. Ms Bromovsky said she “had no doubt neither of them will be backing down”, adding that she believed Mr Johnson was too “egotistical and proud” to accept anything other than the top job. As Mr Johnson was holed up in Millbank Tower on Saturday, fresh from a long-haul flight from the Caribbean and just a few hundred metres from Parliament, where Mr Sunak is based, the pair reportedly delayed their meeting twice, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm and then eventually to 9pm.
Ms Bromovsky said: “I think, like you say, it was very much a standoff, a bit of butting heads. I have no doubt that neither of them will be backing down.
“Boris Johnson, there is no way he would take a demotion, in his eyes, and join Rishi Sunak’s cabinet. He’s too egotistical and too proud to ever do that.
“So, I am not sure what Rishi could offer him that they would make a deal on. So, in my opinion, I do not think those talks came to anything, which is why we have not heard anything. I believe both candidates are still going ahead.
“Boris Johnson has said he has got these 100 seats, however, the Rishi campaign has come out and said they don’t believe they do have those seats. Only time will tell.”
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak met on Saturday night to discuss a deal for the Tory leadership
Lettice Bromovsky said she “had no doubt neither Rishi nor Boris will be backing down”
Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were said to be locked in talks late into the evening as speculation mounted over whether the pair could strike a deal to lay the foundations for a unified Conservative government.
Mr Johnson was lagging behind his former chancellor in public support from MPs as Mr Sunak gained a valuable ally in Kemi Badenoch on Saturday, with backers of the ex-PM challenged over claims he had reached the number required to secure a spot on the Tory ballot paper.
Sir James Duddridge, a friend of Mr Johnson, said the former prime minister had the support of the 100 MPs required to reserve his place in the vote.
But Sunak supporter Richard Holden cast doubt on this suggestion, arguing that the equivalent number of public declarations had not been made “because they don’t exist”.
As the day drew to a close, neither Mr Johnson nor Mr Sunak had declared their candidacy, with reports suggesting the pair held talks in the evening to agree on a joint ticket. Mr Sunak appears to have around 120 publicly-declared supporters, whereas Mr Johnson is closer to 50.
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Boris Johnson arrives back in London having cut short a holiday in the Dominican Republic
Trade minister Kemi Badenoch threw her weight behind Rishi Sunak on Saturday
In a blow to Mr Johnson’s campaign should he decide to seek a second stint in Downing Street, international trade secretary and former leadership contender Ms Badenoch threw her weight behind Mr Sunak, insisting it was not the time for “nostalgia for the cavalier elan of 2019”.
She admitted she had “on occasion” been a member of “the Boris Johnson fan club”, but she said the Tories are not “organising a popularity contest”, and stressed the party is “not a vehicle for any one individual’s personal ambitions”.
Mr Johnson has returned to the UK to plot a second run for the top job, in a move that has divided opinion among Conservative MPs including his former allies.
He arrived at Gatwick Airport on Saturday morning with his family after breaking off from a holiday in the Dominican Republic following Liz Truss’s dramatic resignation on Thursday.
Meanwhile, an ally of former home secretary Suella Braverman said she had been personally “heavily courted” by both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak and was likely to decide who to back for the Tory leadership on Sunday.
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Dominic Raab slammed his former PM and called for Rishi to be elected
Mr Johnson’s former deputy prime minister and foreign secretary Dominic Raab avoided coming to his former boss’s defence, saying “we cannot go backwards”, pointing out the ex-PM faces an investigation into his actions over partygate.
He backed Mr Sunak, saying he was “very confident” the former chancellor would stand.
Moments after Mr Johnson landed back in the UK on Saturday, ex-home secretary Priti Patel said he had her support – but his potential bid suffered a setback as former close allies Steve Barclay and Lord Frost urged colleagues to back Mr Sunak.
The former PM has so far won the support of six Cabinet ministers, including Ben Wallace, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Simon Clarke, Chris Heaton-Harris, Alok Sharma and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, but his public endorsements have fallen far short of those for Mr Sunak as fears resound that his comeback has plateaued.
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