‘He hasn’t returned my calls’, says former chancellor after pair fell out over cabinet revolt
The Tory leadership contender – who resignation last month help spark the cabinet revolt which ended Mr Johnson’s premiership – revealed the PM was no longer returning his calls and messages.
Grilled about the fall-out and whether he had spoken to Johnson since he quit, Sunak told a hustings event: “I haven’t – I’ve messaged and called but, nie verbasend nie, he hasn’t returned my calls.”
Johnson, asked if he would stop ignoring Sunak, told reporters during a visit to North Wales: “That’s one of those Westminster questions that doesn’t change the price of fish.”
Hy het bygevoeg: “There are plenty of things that do change the price of fish, not least the price of energy, but that’s not one of them.”
But Johnson did say that the public can expect the next PM to announce extra help to tackle the spiralling energy bills in September.
“What we are doing is making sure that we have the fiscal firepower, we have the cash, to help people more at those two key points, in October and January [when bills rise]," hy het gesê.
The caretaker PM went on to say: “What the government will be doing, whoever is the prime minister, is making sure there is extra cash to help people … There will be more announcements in September and those will address the key pinch points in October and January.”
Vroeër op Vrydag, chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said that he believed the next prime minister can “hit the ground running” to help hard-pressed families.
He said that his officials in the Treasury are “looking at all the options” on additional help to ensure that either Truss or Sunak can make key decisions soon after the winner of the Tory contest is announced on September 5.
Sunak has said he is prepared to find up to £10bn of extra support, including £5bn on cuts to VAT on energy bills and £5bn on support for the most vulnerable through the benefit system.
In a scathing resignation letter at the start of July, Sunak told Johnson that government should be conducted “properly, competently and seriously” – claiming their approaches “are fundamentally too different”.
At the hustings event in Cheltenham on Thursday night, the former chancellor insisted that the privileges committee investigation into whether Johnson lied over Partygate should continue.
Saying he believed “very strongly in high standards”, he also vowed to reinstate an independent adviser for ministerial interests. Johnson’s ethic adviser Lord Geidt quit in June.