Jeremy Hunt’s job could be at risk following rumours he was the one scoping out a Swiss-style relationship with the European Union.
The Sunday Times revealed this weekend that senior government figures are looking at ways to secure closer economic ties with the EU as the country faces up to the realities of life outside the bloc.
Hunt, who backed Remain in 2016, has indicated to staff that the Rishi Sunak administration may break ties with the approach adopted by Boris Johnson and remove the vast majority of trade barriers.
But that has provoked anger among Eurosceptic MP’s who have dubbed any such move as a “Brexit betrayal”.
Sunak has been forced to furiously back peddle this week, sending out ministers to deny the rumours.
Unfortunately for the chancellor, it could be his head on the line when it comes to reshuffles next year.
Multiple sources have said Sunak may move to replace Hunt in a bid to appease hard-line Brexiteers, many of whom hold influential positions within the party.
Cat Neilan, the political editor for the Tortoise, said the chancellor could linger on until the New Year, but it will be “difficult for him” to survive much longer.
Nick Tyrone has also shared rumours that Hunt will shoulder the blame for the “Swiss style” uproar and pay for it with his job.
He commented: “If so, he will become the latest Tory to be seen to have sinned against the church of Brexit, cast out of the temple as an apostate.”