Home UK News Rishi Sunak claims Boris demanded ‘something he wasn’t prepared to do’ as Tory civil war escalates

Rishi Sunak claims Boris demanded ‘something he wasn’t prepared to do’ as Tory civil war escalates

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Boris Johnson asking RishI Sunak to do something he did not want to do

On Monday, Rishi Sunak openly challenged Boris Johnson over a peerages dispute, as the Tory Party internal war erupted.

The Prime Minister said unequivocally that he would not override the House of Lords Appointments Commission (Holac) or make promises to Mr Johnson’s key allies about becoming peers.

“And if people don’t like that then tough,” Mr Sunak said at a fintech event in London.

However, after Mr Johnson’s retirement as an MP on Friday, the Prime Minister was pressed to demonstrate how the Conservatives could win the next election with their “best player off the pitch.”

According to surveys, the Conservatives lag Labour by a double-digit margin, significantly more than while Mr Johnson was in charge.

The Commons Privileges Committee met today to discuss when to disclose the conclusions of their investigation into whether Mr Johnson lied to Parliament over partygate.

Mr Johnson allegedly proposed peerages for former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, ex-minister Nigel Adams, and Cop26 president Sir Alok Sharma. Since being removed from the peerages list, Ms Dorries and Mr Adams have resigned as MPs, leaving Mr Sunak with three by-elections.

One of Mr Johnson’s allies accused the Prime Minister of a “deceitful slight of hand,” saying No10 meddled in the selections process.

But Mr Sunak said: “Boris Johnson asked me to do something that I wasn’t prepared to do because I didn’t think it was right. That was to either overrule the Holac committee or to make promises to people.

“I wasn’t prepared to do that. As I say, I didn’t think it was right. And if people don’t like that then tough.”

However, an associate of Mr Johnson was nonetheless accused of surreptitiously denying peerages for Ms Dorries and others without informing Mr Johnson.

Meanwhile, former Conservative Party chairman Sir Jake Berry said that the party must now figure out how to win the next election with its “best player off the pitch.”

Putting pressure on Mr Sunak, he said “Now is the time to come forward with a radical tax-cutting and reforming agenda.” He also said that the Conservatives must maintain Mr. Johnson’s “buccaneering spirit, which is so appealing to the electorate.”

Mr Sunak sent Michael Gove, who thwarted Mr Johnson’s effort to become Tory leader in 2016 and was subsequently fired by him as Prime Minister, to rebuff Mr Johnson’s attack.

The Levelling-up Secretary complimented his accomplishments as Prime Minister, but said that Tory MPs should prioritise the employment of the British people above those in Westminster.

After Mr Johnson’s departure, Mr Gove told of “feeling a sense of sadness at his passing”. But when asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain who was the better leader of the Tory party and PM, Mr Gove said: “Rishi. The focus that he is bringing,…the intellect that he brings to bear, the hard work, the sheer dedication to public service mark Rishi out as a great Prime Minister.”

He did, however, commend Mr Johnson, notably for his efforts during the Ukraine conflict and the Covid pandemic

The former prime minister announced his resignation on Friday, as he awaited the outcome of the Privileges Committee’s investigation into whether he misled Parliament over partygate.

He claims he is being forced out of Parliament, and MPs are set to demand a 10-day suspension from the Commons, which could have prompted a by-election in his seat.

The seven-member committee, led by Labour MP Harriet Harman but with a Tory majority, was due to release its findings shortly.

The investigation is said to have concluded that Mr Johnson deceived Parliament, potentially knowingly or negligently, when he told MPs that Covid guidelines were observed in Downing Street despite alcoholic parties transpiring when social distance limits were in place.

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