Rishi Sunak will ‘make himself available’ to be PM says expert
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The Chancellor’s staff have been accused of being responsible for seeking to undermine the Prime Minister by briefing against him. Since Monday evening, the hunt has been on to find the leaker who suggested Mr Johnson was “just not working” as leader.
Fingers have been pointed at Mr Sunak’s chief aide, Liam Booth Smith, despite the Treasury denying any briefings came from them.
The incredibly critical attack came from a “Downing Street source” speaking anonymously to the BBC after a chaotic day for the Prime Minister.
They said: “There is a lot of concern inside the building about the PM.
“It’s just not working.
“Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse.
“If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it.”
Ministers are demanding the Prime Minister restore discipline by taking a hardline approach to his Chancellor.
Demanding he sack dissenters, one minister said sacking Mr Sunak’s aide was necessary to reign in the Richmond MP.
They told The Sun: “The Chancellor’s team is out of control and Liam needs to be fired.
“Pour l’encouragement des autres.”
Briefings against the Prime Minister from the Treasury have become increasingly vocal over the past 48 hours.
Even this morning allies of the Chancellor have been briefing the media against Mr Johnson.
One said Mr Sunak believes a lack of professionalism had caught up with the Government in recent weeks, with the Conservatives hit by a series of humiliating U-turns and backbench rebellions.
They said: “Rishi is not confrontational but he takes things seriously.
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“He goes through them logically and thinks things through.
“He’s frustrated with the operation in No10.
“Things are chaotic in No10.”
Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer attempted to capitalise on the internal Downing Street wars yesterday.
Attacking Mr Johnson in the Commons, he said: “The Prime Minister’s routine is falling flat.
“His Chancellor is worried that people are getting wise, his backbenchers say it’s embarrassing… and senior people in Downing Street tell the BBC ‘it’s just not working’.”
Repeating the question put by a journalist on Monday, he said: “Is everything okay, Prime Minister?”
Mr Johnson responded by saying “I’ll tell you what’s not working, it’s that line of attack” as he insisted he was focusing on voters’ priorities.
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