Tory MPs should ditch Boris Johnson and put Rishi Sunak in No 10 as soon as they can

Conservative MPs may be about to face a momentous decision; John Rentoul analyses the question they have to ask themselves

Friday 21 January 2022 10:54
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<p>Rishi Sunak: I totally support the PM and look forward to taking over from him </p>

Rishi Sunak: I totally support the PM and look forward to taking over from him

I don’t know what is going to happen but I do know what the question is. It is a two-part question that Conservative MPs have to ask themselves: How likely is Boris Johnson to regain public support, versus how likely is Rishi Sunak to lose his current popularity between now and the election?

In my view that calculation is clearly if not overwhelmingly in Sunak’s favour, but I am not a Tory MP. I suspect that the median Tory MP has a higher opinion of Johnson’s qualities than I have – and possibly a lower opinion of Sunak’s.

Ideally, I suspect Tory MPs wouldn’t want to make this decision now. They might prefer to let tax rises and the economy play out; to see whether time will heal the wounds inflicted by lockdown-breaking parties; and then see how they are placed in the autumn of next year for an election in the summer of 2024.

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