The Daily Telegraph

Sunak to stay on as MP but job in rival’s top team seems unlikely

- By Daniel Martin DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR

RISHI SUNAK has indicated that he does not expect to serve in Liz Truss’s Cabinet.

The defeated Tory leadership candidate said that taking a job from the new prime minister was “just not something I am thinking about”.

However, he told the BBC he would remain as an MP and would stand at the next election. Mr Sunak did better in the leadership election than many expected, delivering the closest result since Tory members were given the right to vote in 1998.

He won 42.6 per cent of the vote, restrictin­g Ms Truss to 57.4 per cent – lower than even Sir Iain Duncan Smith achieved in 2001.

One Tory MP who played a key role in Mr Sunak’s campaign said the new Conservati­ve leader should respond to the closeness of the result by giving Mr Sunak a senior job in her Cabinet.

The MP said: “She won by a clear margin, but it was not as decisive as her predecesso­rs, which shows Rishi ran a good campaign even though he didn’t quite get over the line.

“Liz said in her victory speech that she is going to unite the party. Given that Rishi performed better than any other candidate in leadership elections, I’m certain that she’ll be true to her word.” However, the plea was rejected by the Truss camp, which became increasing­ly angry about Mr Sunak’s conduct during the campaign.

One Truss ally said: “At the start of the campaign, it looked highly likely that Rishi would be offered a job in the Cabinet.

“But the way he conducted his campaign – such as sending Dominic Raab out to say her policies were the equivalent of an electoral suicide note – has thrown this into doubt. It’s now very unlikely that she is thinking of offering him a job.”

Yesterday, Mr Sunak told the BBC he hoped to continue serving his constituen­ts “not just in the immediate future but also at the next election”.

The 42-year-old, who has been MP for Richmond, in North Yorkshire, since 2015, also said the new Conservati­ve leader and prime minister would have his “full support”.

Asked if he would accept a ministeria­l job from Ms Truss, he said: “It is just not something I’m thinking about.”

During the campaign, the two candidates strongly disagreed on each other’s economic proposals.

However, asked whether he would support his new leader’s plans, he said: “Liz has said very clearly that she is going to provide support for households during winter and that’s a good thing.”

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