Politics

Jeremy Hunt suggests he would run to be Tory leader again amid pressure on Johnson


The ex-Foreign Secretary lost the Conservative 2019 leadership contest to Boris Johnson by a far mile, but he has been loyal to the PM ever since.

Jeremy Hunt running to become Tory leader in 2019
Jeremy Hunt running to become Tory leader in 2019

Jeremy Hunt has suggested he would run to become the leader of the Conservative Party but admitted “it would take a lot” before he puts his hat into the ring.

Mr Hunt, who chairs the Health and Social Care Select Committee, said he has enjoyed being a backbencher “more than he thought” and hopes there wouldn’t need to be a leadership election anytime soon.

The ex-Foreign Secretary previously ran to become the Tory party leader in 2019.

But he lost out to Boris Johnson by a huge margin.

As pressure mounts on the Prime Minister to resign, with senior Tories calling him to consider his future, Mr Hunt still backs the PM.







Jeremy Hunt reacts as fellow leadership contender Boris Johnson is elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party in 2019
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Image:

Getty Images)

He told the House Magazine “we have to give Boris great credit” for securing a Brexit deal and leading a successful vaccination programme.

But he added: “I won’t say my ambition has completely vanished, but it would take a lot to persuade me to put my hat into the ring.”

After losing the leadership contest in 2019, Mr Hunt was offered a role on the front bench, but turned it down becoming a backbencher and leading the HCSC.

Mr Hunt has been extremely loyal to the PM since – and that loyalty will be needed as seven Tory MPs are calling for Mr Johnson to quit.

Sir Roger Gale, a veteran backbencher described the PM as a “dead man walking”.







Liz Truss then Environment Secretary, pictured next to Mr Hunt in 2016 when he was Health Secretary
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Image:

PA)

The former Children’s minister Tim Loughton said Mr Johnson’s position had become “untenable”.

Many more Tory MPs have expressed their fury anonymously but are keeping quiet until Whitehall enforce Sue Gray concludes her report on Downing Street parties.

The Sunday Times reports around 35 Tory MPs have submitted letters of no confidence, perilously close to the threshold.

And another, Anne Marie Morris, told the Mirror she submitted a letter of no confidence before Christmas… but it no longer counts, because she’s lost the whip over an unrelated issue.

If a leadership election does arise, Mr Hunt would be up against Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid and even Nadhim Zahawi.

Foreign Secretary Ms Truss is said to be a favourite with Tory party members.

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