Chancellor ‘excited’ to be in Devon while PM battles to save premiership
Mr Sunak – the favourite to replace Mr Johnson at No 10 according to bookmakers and polling of the public – headed to Ilfracombe in Devon on Wednesday.
Rather than offer support to the beleaguered prime minister in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak chose to visit a company purifying pharmaceutical drugs.
Mr Sunak said he was “excited” to be in the town with North Devon Tory MP Selaine Saxby, and said the Pall Corporation was investing £60m at the site and creating 200 新しい仕事.
Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves made a dig at her opposite number by tweeting a card saying “The Invisible Chancellor”, 追加する: “On today of all days, where is the chancellor?」
Mr Johnson apologised for attending a “bring your own booze” gathering in the No 10 庭園 10 during England’s first lockdown in May 2020. He acknowledged the public “rage” over the incident, but also claimed thought it could have been technically within the rules.
Tory MP Sir Roger concluded that Mr Johnson had “misled” the Commons with his previous denials. “Politically, the prime minister is a dead man walking,” he told the BBC – calling on the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories to “determine how we proceed”.
As the PM battles to save his premiership, bookmakers slashed the ideas of a new prime minister this year. Mr Johnson is now odds-on to be replaced in 2022, according to one leading betting firm.
Mr Sunak is the favourite to replace Mr Johnson if there is a leadership contest, narrowly ahead of foreign secretary Liz Truss. The chancellor is 9/4 to be the next PM while Ms Truss is 22/5, according to Oddschecker, a comparison site compiling odds from leading British bookmakers.
According to regular ConservativeHome surveys Ms Truss remains the most popular cabinet member among Tory supporters, but the latest poll numbers suggest that Mr Sunak is the most popular choice to take over at No 10 with the wider public.