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Jeremy Hunt REFUSES to say whether Boris Johnson is 'honest' but 'hopes' PM will lead Tories in 2024

Jeremy Hunt insisted now was not the time to renew efforts to overthrow Boris Johnson and said he

Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt today refused to say whether Boris Johnson was being ‘honest’ as he warned the Prime Minister had a ‘big mountain to climb’ to win back Tory voters.

Mr Hunt, who ran against Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership in 2019, again refused to rule out another leadership challenge.

But the former Cabinet minister insisted now was not the time to renew efforts to oust Mr Johnson and said he ‘hoped’ the Prime Minister would lead the Tories in the next general election.

Mr Hunt’s comments will be taken as a warning shot to the Prime Minister – and a clear message to Tory MPs – that he is waiting in the wings if Mr Johnson continues to stumble.

The Prime Minister’s position in Number 10 has been seriously jeopardized by the Partygate scandal, which saw him fined for breaking Covid rules in Downing Street.

This month’s local election results have also heightened fears within Tory ranks that the party could see its so-called ‘blue wall’ areas in southern England continue to fall to the Liberal Democrats and of the workers.

Mr Johnson watched the Tories lose both Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire constituencies to the Lib Dems in the Westminster by-elections last year.

The Tories now also face a battle to keep hold of Tiverton and Honiton following the recent resignation of Tory MP Neil Parish, who watches porn.

In the May 5 local elections, the Tories lost control of 11 councils – many of which were handed over to the Liberal Democrats and Labor – with the Tories also suffering the loss of nearly 500 council seats.

Jeremy Hunt insisted now was not the time to renew efforts to overthrow Boris Johnson and said he

Jeremy Hunt insisted now was not the time to renew efforts to oust Boris Johnson and said he ‘hoped’ the Prime Minister would lead the Tories in the next general election.

The Prime Minister's position in Number 10 has been seriously jeopardized by the Partygate scandal, which saw him fined for breaking Covid rules in Downing Street

The Prime Minister’s position in Number 10 has been seriously jeopardized by the Partygate scandal, which saw him fined for breaking Covid rules in Downing Street

I sat atop ‘rogue’ NHS as health secretary, says Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has admitted his own failures as health secretary contributed to the hours people waited for an ambulance or in A&E services.

The former Cabinet minister also described his position at the top of a ‘rogue system’ during his tenure as Health Secretary from 2012 to 2018, and criticized a ‘blame culture’ within the NHS.

He told the BBC’s Sunday Morning that in his new book he “tried to be honest about the things I succeeded in doing and the things I didn’t succeed in”.

Mr Hunt, the current chairman of the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee, denied the NHS was on the verge of collapse, but said the situation was ‘very, very serious’ with doctors and nurses ‘ragged by the intensity of the work’.

He said tackling the “chronic failure of workforce planning” is the single most important task in relieving pressure on frontline NHS services.

In an excerpt from his new book, published in the Sunday Times, Mr Hunt said fear of transparency and honesty within the NHS when it comes to avoidable deaths and mistakes is a “major structural problem ” which needs to be resolved.

In the book, Zero: Eliminating Unnecessary Deaths In A Post-Pandemic NHS, Mr Hunt said the “corrosive consequences of such thinking” were cover-ups in which the Department of Health and the NHS “were complicit”.

“Too often, failed managers were recycled into jobs in another part of the country, where they continued to make the same mistakes,” he writes. “And because of secrecy, the wheels of change are moving slowly.

“It was not about rogue staff or a rogue hospital. It was a malicious system. A rogue system which, as health secretary, I sat on top of.

Mr Hunt said he was “shocked in his heart” by the failures of care, including preventable deaths.

Mr Hunt, a former foreign secretary and health secretary, today reiterated that he could ask for a return to the highest level of government.

But he said the war in Ukraine should provide a “perspective” on feverish speculation about the prime minister’s leadership in the wake of Partygate.

“I have said on several occasions that I myself do not rule out a return to frontline politics,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme.

“But I don’t think it’s the right time. Britain was the most robust member of the Western alliance in the face of the first major war in Europe in our lifetime.

“I think the only person who would be happy if we had a months-long hiatus at the helm of Britain would be Vladimir Putin.

“So I don’t think now is the time for those talks.”

The MP for South West Surrey questioned the Prime Minister’s ability to prove once again a Tory vote winner as he insisted it would be a ‘mistake to view the party’s local electoral losses as a “midterm blues”.

He added: “The reason people vote Conservative is because they want economic growth, they want sound money, they want the prospect of lower taxes for their families. “

“None of these things are true at the moment. So the government’s top priority must be to move from a high-inflation, low-growth economy to a low-inflation, high-growth economy.

Asked if Mr Johnson was the best person to be Tory leader, Mr Hunt said: ‘I hope he can turn the tide because I don’t think now is the time for a race At the direction.”

“But I would say this, I think the outcome of the next election will not depend on personalities, but on which party has the best long-term plans.”

“How do we defend democracy in a world where China is a bigger economy than the United States? How to distribute the wealth? How to solve long-term problems in the NHS? »

Mr Hunt also dodged the question of whether Mr Johnson is “an honest man”.

He replied that ‘talking about personalities is not a useful thing to do’, adding: ‘It’s a simple question but it’s not a useful thing to do when I just said we have to recognize that the international situation is very serious and we need strong leadership from the Prime Minister that we have.

Mr Hunt called on fellow Tory MPs to ‘support the Prime Minister in the situation we are in right now’ as he described how Ukraine has been made ‘impossible not to put things in perspective’.

He expressed his hope that the party “can turn things around under the leadership of the Prime Minister”.

Asked if that meant he backed Mr Johnson to lead the Tories in the next general election, due in 2024, Mr Hunt said: ‘I really hope so.

Mr Hunt, who ran against Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership in 2019, again refused to rule out another leadership challenge.

Mr Hunt, who ran against Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership in 2019, again refused to rule out another leadership challenge.

Mr Hunt, pictured with his wife Lucia, dodged the question of whether Mr Johnson is

Mr Hunt, pictured with his wife Lucia, dodged questions about whether Mr Johnson is ‘an honest man’

Asked if he would prefer to be Tory leader as the party seeks to retain its majority in the House of Commons, he added: ‘I know you would like to create a suggestion, I would like something different, but I really hope we can (turn the situation around).

‘But I also hope we recognize that to do this we have a big mountain to climb to win back the support of many of our key constituents – not just in the south of England, but particularly in the south of England. England – who are very concerned about the situation in which we find ourselves.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney called Mr Hunt ‘too cowardly to say what everyone in Britain thinks’ about the Prime Minister’s honesty.

“Boris Johnson is a serial liar and not fit to rule this country,” she added.

“It’s time for Jeremy Hunt to do his patriotic duty and ask Boris Johnson for some time off as Prime Minister.

“As the MP for Surrey, he should know the pure anger felt in old Tory hearts against this government.

“From Chesham and Amersham to the local election results last week, it’s clear the public has had enough.”

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