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Kwasi Kwarteng Appeals to Rishi Sunak to Bring Back Boris Johnson

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Kwasi Kwarteng Appeals to Rishi Sunak to Bring Back Boris Johnson

Rishi Sunak should “swallow some pride” and bring back the “electoral force” that is Boris Johnson, the former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has said.

Kwarteng, who announced earlier this week that he would be standing down as an MP at the general election, also said the prime minister needed to “work on his outreach” with backbench Tory MPs also thinking about quitting.

The MP’s candid criticism of his party leader on Sunday came amid fresh indications of a renewed clamour among supporters of Johnson for him to return in some form, with calls in the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph as the Tories face a potential electoral wipeout.

The former prime minister and Conservative leader expects his successor to telephone him personally if he wants to ask for his help campaigning in the general election, the Sunday Telegraph also reported.

On Sunday, Kwarteng said in an interview with GB News: “I’ve always been a big Boris fan. He had a very good success as an electoral force. You know, we’re 20 points behind, and the polls haven’t really moved in the last year. So it’s not time to simply say ‘more of the same’. Something has to change, for us to have a chance of winning.

“And if that means swallowing some pride and you’re suppressing a bit of ego by reaching out to someone who’s an approved campaigner then, yeah, then he should do that.”

A No 10 source said: “We want the whole Conservative family to come together to beat Starmer and Labour at the next election. Boris and everyone else united in that aim will of course be welcome.”

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Kwarteng, who oversaw the ill-fated “mini-budget” under the shortlived government of Liz Truss, said the prime minister had not called him to ask him to change his mind after announcing that he would not stand again as an MP.

But while he said that he would not have expected that from a busy prime minister, he added that Sunak “needed to work on his outreach with backbenchers” if he was to have a chance of winning round others planning to quit.

Kwarteng, who represents Spelthorne, in Surrey, said his decision to stand down had been a personal one because it was time “to move on” but conceded that his party’s poor standing in the polls was also a factor.

“I think the fact that we’re facing a difficult election has something to do with it. You’ve got to be honest about that,” added the former chancellor, who joins dozens of other Tory MPs who have announced that they will not be contesting the election.

More than 80 sitting MPs have announced they will leave parliament at the next election, more than the 74 who retired in 2019.

As chancellor, Kwarteng was accused of delivering a reckless mini-budget for the rich after his £45bn tax-cutting package sent the pound crashing to its lowest level against the dollar in 37 years.

He has since declared thousands of pounds from media appearances and was due to start advising an Australian iron ore mining company on its clean energy ambitions from last year October – a year after his disastrous mini-budget crashed the pound.

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Source: Theguardian.com

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