On Monday evening, a panel of guests appeared on GB News to discuss if incoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be able to save the Conservative Party after former leaders Liz Truss and Boris Johnson resigned in the space of six weeks. Presenter Dan Wootton asked Mr Gardiner: “You have been a supporter of Boris Johnson…do we need to just move on and get over Boris?”
Mr Gardiner replied: “I don’t think so at all. I think the treatment of Boris Johnson by many of the MPs in the Conservative party has been an absolute disgrace.
“His removal in the first place was wrong. I think this campaign to keep Boris out this time around, denying the party membership the right to vote ultimately.”
The former aide to Margaret Thatcher added: “I thought this is very dispiriting to see and with Rishi Sunak, I wish him the best and hope he will be successful, but he has to lead as a Conservative.
“It’s not clear to me yet that Rishi really possesses clear-cut conservative beliefs.”
Mr Gardiner continued: “He has to really listen to the grassroots of the Conservative party and the conservative movement, and he had to adopt policies that actually are conservative.
“No, I’ve not actually seen Rishi really presenting those policies yet, and his initial address today as the next Prime Minister was actually very dull and uninspiring.
“He’s really got to inspire, not only the conservative grassroots but also the British people as a whole.
Mr Gardiner also repeated his support for Mr Johnson and said: “This is an incredibly critically important moment at this time, we need very bold strong leadership.
“I think Boris Johnson offered that kind of leadership and that kind of vision, but Rishi hasn’t really presented that kind of bold thinking.”
READ MORE: Rishi is the right man for the right time, says LEO McKINSTRY
It comes after Mr Johnson ruled himself out of the Conservative Party leadership election, saying it was “simply not be the right thing to do”.
Mr Johnson said: “You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament…therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds.”
Mr Wootton also wrote in the Daily Mail criticising parts of the British media’s reaction to Mr Johnson’s leadership bid.
He said: “Do I feel Boris was some sort of perfect PM? Far from it.
“In these columns and on my nightly GB News show, I criticised him time and again for his decisions to lockdown the country unnecessarily, give in to hysterical public health officials, increase taxes and push a Net Zero agenda.
“But I fear we are fast becoming a banana republic by allowing media hysteria encouraged by dark forces at Westminster to subvert democracy time and again.”