Rory Stewart has responded to comments made by the prime minister that were leaked in the Sunday Times this weekend.
The former Tory MP said it was “deeply disturbing” that Boris Johnson was implying that he alone speaks for the “real” people after the PM allegedly suggested the opposition leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is part of a “privileged, metropolitan, narrow-minded elite”.
Johnson is reported to have said that Starmer is part of a group that is “uncomfortable with the raw instincts of the vast majority of British people”, something Stewart likened to populist rhetoric heard “from Hungary to Brazil”.
Last month Stewart claimed Boris Johnson was the one leaking negative stories about Rishi Sunak – because he feels threatened by him.
Stewart, a former Tory leadership contender, said the PM is ”probably quite enjoying” the criticism aimed at the Chancellor and his wife.
Stewart says Sunak is aware the recent ”smear campaign” is not just from journalists – and ”No.10 is feeding quite a lot of this”.
He says ”it’s perfectly possible that people inside No.10 are quite enjoying dripping this stuff through”.
Rest Is Politics
He said: “My guess is Boris Johnson is probably quite enjoying this. I think he feels threatened by Rishi Sunak.
“Rishi was the big challenger to him, and I think when Rishi Sunak is saying it’s a bit of a smear campaign, he’s not just talking about journalists going after him.
“I think he suspects that No.10 is feeding quite a lot of this.
“I think it’s perfectly possible that people inside No.10 are quite enjoying dripping this stuff through.
“Suggesting he’s going off on holiday in California, when he probably isn’t…
“Drawing people’s attentions to questions they might ask about his tax, asking about the green card etc.
“Because I think apart from Rishi Sunak it’s difficult to see who really is in a position to challenge Boris Johnson.”