Kemi Badenoch backs Rishi Sunak to become next PM saying ‘he is man for the job’
Nigel Farage slams ‘damaging’ Conservative Party leadership
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Kemi Badenoch, who once campaigned to become Conservative leader herself, is backing Rishi Sunak to lead the party after Liz Truss‘s resignation. Ms Badenoch has announced that she is convinced the former Chancellor is best-placed to win the next General Election. In an official statement, she likened Mr Sunak to Margaret Thatcher, stating he can make “difficult decisions” for the country.
She told the Sunday Times: “I’m backing Rishi not because he would be the country’s first ethnic minority Prime Minister, but because he would be a great leader during a time of crisis and difficulty.”
Ms Badenoch added: “I believe he understands the necessity for unity and bringing others along on the journey before making difficult decisions. Just like Mrs Thatcher did.”
The trade secretary is the first standing Cabinet member to endorse Mr Sunak, having previously worked alongside him.
She was a multi-brief minister under Boris Johnson, holding roles as the Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities and Equalities while Mr Sunak was Chancellor.
Kemi Badenoch backs Rishi Sunak to become next PM saying ‘he is man for the job’ (Image: GETTY)
While she is the first serving minister to endorse her former boss’ chief rival in the contest, Ms Badenoch is one of several former Johnson allies to switch camps.
Other senior figures to the party’s right have given him a firm lead in the competition, although he is yet to formally declare his candidacy.
Lord David Frost, the former Brexit secretary, backed the ex-Chancellor this afternoon.
Lord Frost heaped praise on the former Prime Minister, but warned it was time for the Conservatives to change path.
He said Mr Johnson was a “hero” for delivering Brexit with a caveat that he brought “chaos and confusion”.
Mr Sunak is “a capable leader who can deliver a Conservative programme”, he concluded.
As he continues to gather momentum, Mr Sunak’s candidacy has exposed a rift on the Tory right.
Priti Patel, one of Mr Johnson’s chief generals and Home Secretary, supported the ex-PM’s bid to reclaim his seat at the party’s helm.
In a short statement posted to Twitter, she said he has “the mandate to deliver our elected manifesto and a proven track record getting the big decisions right”.