Boris Johnson accused of dealing with Tory leadership rivals ‘roughly’

Boris Johnson has been accused of treating potential rivals for the Tory leadership in a ‘rough manner’.

Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in Westminster, today said it was ‘obvious’ there had been a falling out between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Rishi Sunak has been called to resign after it was revealed Akshata Murty, Sunak’s multi-millionaire wife, is claiming non-domicile status which saves her millions of pounds in tax on dividends received of his family’s computer empire.

The chancellor also held a US green card – allowing permanent residency in that country – until October last year.

Sunak accused his critics of waging a “smear” campaign against him and demanded an investigation into who leaked details of his family’s finances to the media.

Last week Johnson denied claims that 10 Downing Street was holding a briefing against the Chancellor and insisted he was doing a “remarkable” job.

Blackford told Sky News: ‘Quite frankly, the sooner they’re all gone the better.’

Asked if Sunak was paying a price for not backing the Prime Minister through the PartyGate scandal, Blackford said: “It’s obvious there has been a falling out between the Chancellor and the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson has so far weathered the PartyGate crisis and he still has to be held accountable.

“But clearly those he sees as challengers are being treated quite brutally.

“My message is – it doesn’t have to be like that.

“When we look at the indictment against Boris Johnson and against Rishi Sunak, we had the whole PartyGate scandal, we had the wallpaper payment for No 10, we had the cronyism deals that put the people in the household of the lords.

“It’s a government that stinks to heaven. It’s about corruption, it’s about foolishness – and this is just the latest example. Frankly, the sooner they leave the better. “

Blackford added: “Boris Johnson and his ilk have behaved this way since they had a privileged upbringing at Eton and the whole lifestyle.

“And the fact that through it all we had a Prime Minister who presided over a party culture at No 10 as everyone behaved through covid.

There’s real anger on both sides of these islands – and it’s fair that people are saying that if you don’t live up to the standards that we’re supposed to live up to, then you should just leave.”

Asked if the public would view the politics as brutal, Blackford replied: “It’s brutal and I think in many ways we need softer, softer politics.

“But there has to be honor and dignity. If you hang on to the job, when they’re clearly wrong, then that sets the tone, that sets the culture.”

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Edward L. Robinett