Rory Stewart, a contender to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May, said he is in talks with environment minister Michael Gove, a rival candidate, about teaming up.
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the contest, won the most votes cast in the second round of voting to be leader of the Conservative Party.
“We are talking about combining forces because it is clear that Boris is going into the last round and the question is who is best placed to sit on a stage with Boris Johnson and who is best placed to ask the testing questions that need to be asked,” Stewart told the BBC.
After helping to win the Brexit referendum for the Leave side in 2016, Johnson’s bid to succeed David Cameron as prime minister was scuppered when his close ally Gove abruptly deserted him and announced his own candidacy.
The betrayal by Gove, whose parting shot was to say that “Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead”, stopped Johnson’s march on Downing Street in 2016, allowing May to win the top job.
But her failure to get a divorce deal ratified by the British parliament destroyed her premiership.