Asked if Mr Johnson was being honest, the former Chancellor said he had tried to give Mr Johnson “the benefit of the doubt for as long as possible, but ultimately I decided I couldn’t, and that’s why.” I resigned”.
Mr Johnson is keen to stay out of the competition, but his allies are clear: if Mr Sunak continues to cast doubt on Mr Johnson’s integrity, there will be consequences.
An ally says, “Rishi is extremely devout in his disapproval of the [lockdown] Parties, but he worked in the same building all the time, so he must have known about that too. And he took just as many fines as Boris.
Allies of Boris Johnson, pictured during a visit to RAF Coningsby earlier this week, are said to have warned Rishi Sunak there would be “consequences” over his barbing at the Prime Minister
It is clear that resentment is still brewing at the way Mr Johnson’s eviction from Downing Street was catalysed by Mr Sunak’s resignation.
The prime minister is understood to have grown increasingly frustrated with Mr Sunak over the past year, complaining to aides that his chancellor would disappear amid a crisis.
A government source said: “Sunak has been physically and emotionally absent from the project at all times. He ruled in a parallel universe and refused to answer the phone when he was most needed.”
The source said that during the many crises that have dogged Mr Johnson’s time in power, he felt he could not rely on Mr Sunak for constructive advice.
Allies of Boris Johnson have fired back at Rishi Sunak, who was out and about in Redcar, Teeside, on Saturday as part of his campaign to become the next Prime Minister
An ally of Johnson’s said: “When Rishi was questioned on an issue in Cabinet, Rishi was usually either the very first or the very last person addressed, saying just, ‘Oh, you don’t have to hear from me’ – and often his back turned when he said it, probably unconsciously.
“And he was conspicuously absent from the media when the shit hit the fan. He was the U-boat Chancellor.”
Despite Mr Johnson’s vow not to interfere in the competition, his closest supporters have criticized Mr Sunak.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who called Mr Sunak the “socialist chancellor”, and Nadine Dorries have both publicly supported Secretary of State Liz Truss in the race.
It has also been claimed that Mr Johnson would be open to Ms Mordaunt succeeding him if it meant Mr Sunak would not win the lead, with the Prime Minister raising concerns about Mr Sunak going soft on Vladimir Putin and the sanctions against Russia would relax.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who called Mr Sunak the “socialist chancellor”, and Nadine Dorries have both publicly supported Secretary of State Liz Truss in the prime ministerial race
Questions about Mr Johnson are feared by Mr Sunak and Ms Truss, who have served in his cabinet: both fidgeted noticeably when they asked the “honesty question”, while Tom Tugendhat received a loud applause and shot to the top of the quick polls by answering : ‘No.’
The Government source said: “Boris has no intention of entering the competition. But he’s not the type to hear when his honesty is questioned and just let it go.”
It came as Mr Johnson joined Britain’s Top Gun pilots for one of his final assignments before leaving Downing Street.
Pictures released yesterday showed Mr Johnson’s visit last week to RAF Coningsby, home to two squadrons of battle-ready Typhoon fighters tasked with protecting the British skies, where he was given a demonstration in the back seat of one of the 1,550mph jets.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was given a Typhoon fighter demonstration at RAF Coningsby
Dressed in an olive drab flight suit – with anti-G-force pants offering protection during the jet’s tremendous acceleration – Mr Johnson paced in a scene reminiscent of the recent sequel to Top Gun, the 1980s Hollywood action film , over the asphalt.
Located in rural Lincolnshire, Coningsby is one of two RAF stations providing the Quick Reaction Alert. Fighter planes stand by in case Russian bombers approach British airspace. The base is home to 11 Squadron, the oldest combat unit in the world, formed in 1915.
A spokesman for No10 said: “The Prime Minister visited RAF Coningsby on Thursday to thank the Quick Reaction Alert Force for their constant and vigilant service.
“The Prime Minister met a number of staff involved in securing our skies and took part in a typhoon training flight to see a demonstration of the team’s capabilities.”