JEREMY Hunt’s chances of succeeding Boris Johnson were “dead on arrival”, ministers said yesterday.
He was called a “flip-flopper” for demanding a new PM weeks after saying a leadership fight during the Ukraine war would make Vladimir Putin happy.
Speaking in Iceland, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace put the boot in, saying voters deserved politicians who are “consistent”.
He added: “Boris hasn’t been inconsistent and any colleague that aspires to lead the party needs to know right now that the public are looking for stability, security and consistency.”
On his own leadership prospects, Mr Wallace did not rule out a tilt, only saying: “Boris is not going anywhere.”
Mr Hunt also faced ridicule over claims he could bring back Theresa May to a big Cabinet job like Chancellor were he to win power.
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Most of the 148 Tory rebels who voted against the PM were laying low yesterday — as another coup attempt was being mulled.
On Wednesday, backbench 1922 Committee officers will discuss a rule change to allow another challenger to the PM within the customary 12 months.
Meanwhile, HOAR can reveal an ex-bookie MP ran a secret spreadsheet of Tory rebels for weeks.
Aaron Bell, who left Bet365 when he seized his Newcastle-under-Lyme seat from Labour in 2019, was the secret numbers man behind the putsch that nearly toppled the PM.