Tory leadership candidates rule out government job for Boris Johnson

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have ruled out giving Boris Johnson a role in government if they succeed him as prime minister.

Foreign Secretary Ms Truss said she thought Mr Johnson ‘needed a well-deserved break’ before finally saying he would not be part of his best team.

Former Chancellor Mr Sunak was more blunt in saying Mr Johnson would not be involved.

Their comments came during their first televised debate on Tory leadership on the BBC.

None of the Tory candidates plan to give Boris Johnson a role in government (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

(PA wire)

Asked if Mr Johnson would be given a cabinet role, Ms Truss said: ‘Having spent time with him this week on Foreign Affairs, I suspect very, very strongly that he would not want no future role in government, I think he needs a well deserved break after a very difficult few years.

“After all he was seriously ill with Covid, we didn’t even talk about it, and it was a terrible time when we didn’t know what was going to happen, he faced real challenges that no leader wouldn’t have expected to face the terrible war in Ukraine, so I just don’t think that’s really an option.

She added: “I just don’t think it will happen, I think what’s done is done, the party has made the decision, I’ve told you my views on it, I’ve now introduced myself as a candidate because I think I’m the right person to do the job and I don’t think he would want to get more involved.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak before taking part in the BBC1 Conservative leadership debate (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

(PA Media)

Pressed further, Ms Truss said: ‘I’m sure he’ll have a role, I’m sure he’ll be heard but he won’t be in government.’

Mr Sunak said: “The simple answer from me is no, I think we have to look to the future at this point, that’s why I want to be prime minister.”

The couple were also asked to rate Mr Johnson’s time in office out of 10.

Ms Truss gave Mr Johnson a seven while Mr Sunak said: ‘My opinions are clear, when he was great he was great and we have come to a point where we have to move on. Coming up with a solution to Brexit and winning an election that’s a 10/10 – you have to give this guy credit, probably no one else could have.

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