Tory leadership: Johnson wants Truss to win says Montgomerie
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Boris Johnson’s former adviser Tim Montgomerie claimed the Prime Minister did not “like the way his chancellor behaved towards him” while they were together in cabinet. Mr Montgomerie said Mr Johnson would likely favour an early vote if it benefitted the current foreign secretary, owing in large part to his dislike of Mr Sunak. But, he added a note of caution in trusting the early polls suggesting Ms Truss is now the favourite to be the new Tory leader, saying they do not always prove to be “true”.
Mr Montgomerie told GB News: “I think it is not a great secret, I think Boris Johnson wants Liz Truss to win this election.
“The gossip, and I think it is fairly well established gossip, is that Boris Johnson did not like the way his chancellor behaved towards him.
“He found him not just disloyal for resigning from his cabinet at the last minute but found him to be someone that was very difficult to work with all the way along.
“And so, if it looks like Liz Truss will do very well from an early vote of Tory members, I don’t think Boris Johnson will be discouraging that.”
He added: “But there is a lot of conventional wisdom in these elections that is not always true and that is why I think we should not assume that an early vote would favour Liz Truss because it may well be that that opinion polling does really affect voters.
“We also have a BBC debate, a head-to-head, this coming Monday, which will be very important.
“That will certainly happen before the ballot papers go out, so that will be really critical.
“And I think Rishi Sunak, in particular, does need to avoid that sort of nasty attack on Liz Truss.”
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak and foreign secretary Liz Truss will battle it out to become Britain’s next prime minister after they won the final lawmaker vote, setting up the last stage of the contest to replace Boris Johnson.
Mr Sunak has led in all rounds of the voting among Conservative lawmakers, but it is Ms Truss who seems to have gained the advantage so far among the 200,000 members of the governing party who will ultimately choose the winner.
The final stretch of a weeks-long contest will pit Mr Sunak, a former Goldman Sachs banker who has raised the tax burden towards the highest level since the 1950s, against Ms Truss, a convert to Brexit who has pledged to cut taxes and regulation.
Whoever triumphs when the result is announced on September 5 will inherit some of the most difficult conditions in Britain in decades. Inflation is on course to hit 11 percent annually, growth is stalling, industrial action is on the rise and the pound is near historic lows against the dollar.
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Eleven candidates originally put their names forward for the leadership vacancy, but in a fifth and final ballot of Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday, the junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt was eliminated. Mr Sunak won 137 votes, versus Ms Truss’ 113 and Ms Mordaunt’s 105.
Polls show Ms Truss would beat Mr Sunak in the party members’ contest, opening up the chance that the party elects a leader who was not the most popular choice for lawmakers at Westminster.
Ms Truss thanked her supporters after the announcement of the final two, writing on social media: “I’m ready to hit the ground from day one.”
Mr Sunak wrote: “Grateful that my colleagues have put their trust in me today. I will work night and day to deliver our message around the country.”
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