Boris Johnson running ‘anyone but Rishi’ campaign, tells defeated candidates not to back him: Report

Boris Johnson running ‘anyone but Rishi’ campaign, tells defeated candidates not to back him: Report

Under the latest votes tally, Sunak has 101, Mordaunt 83, Truss 64, Badenoch 49 and Tugendhat 32.

With the race for the UK’s prime ministership gaining heat, interim prime minister Boris Johnson has urged the defeated Tory member candidates to “back anyone but Rishi Sunak”, according to local media reports.

According to The Times newspaper, Johnson, who resigned as the leader of the ruling Conservative Party on July 7 after many of his cabinet ministers quit, has asked the failed candidates to make sure that Sunak does not become the prime minister.

Moreover, Johnson reportedly told the contenders that he would neither endorse anyone nor intervene in the contest.

According to the newspaper, this secret meeting is part of the “anyone but Rishi” hidden campaign that is being run by Johnson and his supporters.

The newspaper further reported that Johnson feels betrayed by Sunak, whose resignation triggered his exit even as he lost the support of his own party members.

However, Johnson felt that Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, who has been endorsed by his fiercest cabinet allies, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries are able candidates to take the mantle of leadership of Conservative party, a source who had direct access to one of the conversations told the newspaper.

Johnson also reportedly indicated that he is open to Penny Mordaunt, the junior trade minister, succeeding him if it meant that Sunak is kept out of the race.

"The whole No.10 [Downing Street] team hates Rishi. It's personal. It's vitriolic. They don't blame Saj [Sajid Javid] for bringing him down. They blame Rishi. They think he was planning this for months," the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Boris Johnson running ‘anyone but Rishi’ campaign, tells defeated candidates not to back him: Report
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But an ally of Johnson, who didn;t wish to be named, rubbished the claims that has been “anyone but Rishi” campaign, but acknowledged that the interim prime minister harboured resentment over Sunak’s “betrayal”.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is touted to be the next Conservative party leader, has won of the first two rounds of voting by Tory members of Parliament.

Under the latest votes tally, Sunak has 101, Mordaunt 83, Truss 64, Badenoch 49 and Tugendhat 32.

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