Boris Johnson urges defeated Tory leadership candidates: ‘Support anyone but Rishi!’ | Politics | New

Mr Sunak’s resignation just two days before the Prime Minister’s announcement of his resignation would have been a trigger to force Mr Johnson to quit.

Although the future ex-prime minister said he would not publicly endorse any candidate, he was said to have made his dislike of Mr Sunak clear to others in the race.

A source has revealed that Mr Johnson is most keen on Liz Truss for the next Tory leader, as the Foreign Secretary has also been endorsed by his close allies Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It is also said to be open to Penny Mordaunt taking on the role.

A source told The Times: “The whole No.10 team hates Rishi. It’s personal. It’s vitriolic.

“They don’t blame Saj [Sajid Javid] to knock him down. They blame Rishi. They think he had been planning this for months.

Another source admitted there were fears that Mr Sunak could become “soft” on Putin and sanctions against Russia, which the Prime Minister considers part of his legacy.

A friend of Mr Johnson said: “Of course he’s disappointed, of course he’s frustrated.

“He pushed Rishi for a compelling growth strategy for many months without success.

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They said, “Rishi led the way in applying the toughest sanctions against Russia and ensured our allies followed suit.”

It is believed that September 5 will be the day a new leader is chosen, but Boris Johnson will remain in the Commons as an active backbench MP.

Theresa May has also remained a Commons MP since stepping down in 2016, however, David Cameron resigned just two months after she left, saying he feared he would become ‘a great distraction and diversion’ if he stayed .

Sir Tony Blair resigned as MP the same day he resigned as Prime Minister in 2007.

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Edward L. Robinett