Boris Johnson ally Jacob Rees-Mogg has branded Rishi Sunak a ‘socialist’ and refused to serve in his cabinet should he become PM.
The Brexit-backing Conservative MP hit out at the former chancellor’s “disloyalty” to the Prime Minister after he resigned last Tuesday.
This comes after Rees-Mogg appeared to brand Sunak a socialist for high taxes during his time in charge of the government’s pursestrings.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Rees-Mogg who alongside Nadine Dorries is a backer of Liz Truss in the leadership contest, said Truss “rejected the path that Rishi Sunak wanted to take us on. She opposed his breaking of our manifesto promise” in rising national insurance.
“She opposed his raising the tax burden to the highest since the socialism of 1950s Labour.”
When asked if he considered Sunak a socialist by Sky News’ Kay Burley this morning, Rees-Mogg said: “Well, no, you’re referring things that may or may not have been said in cabinet.”
“I think as a chancellor, he made decisions that were of the left rather than on the right, that he was a tax increasing Chancellor. I didn’t support the decisions he made.”
When asked whether he would serve in a Sunak government, he said: “No, of course I wouldn’t. I believe his behaviour towards Boris Johnson, his disloyalty means that I could not possibly support him. And he wouldn’t want me in his cabinet anyway.”
He said Tom Tugendhat and Jeremy Hunt “behaved perfectly properly” during the leadership contest so far, while Sajid Javid, who resigned alongside Sunak last Tuesday, did not deserve a bloody nose, Rees-Mogg said.
Javid, who pulled out of the leadership contest yesterday is a “very decent chap” but he “spoke to him yesterday and said I couldn’t possibly support him on the same basis” as Sunak, over the resignation.
Eight candidates met the threshold for the ballot of the Tory leadership race, and remain in the contest: Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi.
Sajid Javid and Grant Shapps dropped out yesterday, in addition to outsider Rehman Chishti.