Dominic Raab denies that Rishi Sunak betrayed Boris Johnson for his leadership bid | Dominique Raab


Dominic Raab has defended Rishi Sunak on charges he betrayed Boris Johnson for the chance to become the Tory leader.

The former Chancellor quit government due to a different economic outlook and Johnson’s inability to follow up on allegations of misconduct against former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher.

But he faced accusations of disloyalty to the prime minister from ministers and party members, and was accused of plotting to take over the role.

Raab, a staunch supporter of the prime minister and his former cabinet colleague, denied that Sunak acted out of treason.

“Anyone who thinks Rishi stabbed Boris in the back is kidding themselves,” he told The Times. “Rishi has worked hard to make the relationship with the Prime Minister work; he explained why in the end he couldn’t stay.

The pitchforks were pointed at the wrong leadership candidate, he added, insisting Liz Truss laid the groundwork for her campaign with her ‘Fizz for Liz’ champagne dinner.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, a vocal opponent of Sunak, was quick to jump on Raab’s remarks, accusing him of trying to “rewrite the facts”.

“Liz may have had a drink with MPs – but she didn’t quit her job, walked away, campaigned stealthily with MPs for votes, registered a website and wasn’t not ready for campaign or not part of a planned coup,” she tweeted. “Sunak was. You can’t rewrite the facts.

Throughout the Tory leadership race, Dorries has been criticized for his “diverse, dishonest and disturbing” interventions after posting a provocative image depicting the Prime Minister as Julius Caesar, shadowed by a knife-wielding Sunak.

The tension between the two hopeful camps has raised fears that the leadership race has driven a deep division within the party – so much so that senior officials believe reunification is impossible.

A senior Tory official told The Times: “The constant attacks are unedifying and hurt the party. There are now camps of people who will refuse to work with each other when this is all over. »

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Edward L. Robinett