Tom Tugendhat’s supporters should support Penny Mordaunt, the ally suggests

DWhen Rishi Sunak stabbed Boris Johnson in the back by resigning from the government last week, Richard Holden, a Red Wall Tory MP, defended the former chancellor’s decision to withdraw support from the prime minister.

He also denied that there were any questions about Mr Sunak’s integrity.

“He has been very upfront throughout this situation. He has supported the Prime Minister all the way through the last few years, through some really difficult decisions about Covid,” said Mr. Holden.

He also downplayed some suggestions, prompted by opinion polls, that Mr Sunak is deeply unpopular among Tory party members compared to other lesser-known candidates.

“I think it’s very easy to project what you like on someone you do not know very well.”

“Over time, things evolve and you start thinking about what’s realistic, what’s beneficial to the country.”

He continued, “I think he really wants to start committing, and hopefully we can move away and offer a positive vision instead of this conservative-against-conservative attack that I really don’t like.”

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