Boris Johnson finally speaks out on Rishi Sunak becoming PM after awkward silence

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Boris Johnson has congratulated Rishi Sunak on becoming Prime Minister after he abandoned his own dramatic comeback bid. The former premier took to Twitter today to share a message to the ex-Chancellor, who was instrumental in his downfall.

It comes after Mr Sunak was confirmed as the new Tory leader yesterday and appointed Prime Minister by the King today.

Mr Johnson said: “Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on this historic day, this is the moment for every Conservative to give our new PM their full and wholehearted support.”

He offered his congratulations a day later than messages from outgoing PM Liz Truss and fellow leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt.

His message also came 24 hours after other ex-PMs including Theresa May and David Cameron.

Mr Johnson, who left No 10 last month, pulled out of the Tory leadership race over the weekend paving the way for Mr Sunak to take the top job.

The 58-year-old, who never officially entered the contest, admitted on Sunday that he could not unite the warring party.

He said efforts to “reach out” to his rivals – Mr Sunak and Ms Mordaunt – to work together in the national interest had not been successful so he was dropping out.

But he insisted he had the nominations needed to make it on to the ballot paper and that there was a “very good chance” he could have been back in Downing Street by the end of the week if he had stood.

Ms Mordaunt’s 11th-hour withdrawal on Monday led to Mr Sunak being crowned without an online vote of Tory members.

In his first speech from Downing Street today, Mr Sunak said he will “always be grateful” to Mr Johnson for his “incredible achievements” during his time in the top job.

He pledged to deliver on the Conservative 2019 manifesto, insisting Mr Johnson would agree it is not “the sole property of any one individual”.

He said: “I will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as prime minister and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.

“I know he would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us.

“And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. I will deliver on its promise.

“A stronger NHS, better schools, safer streets, control of our borders, protecting our environment, supporting our armed forces, levelling up and building an economy that embraces the opportunities of Brexit where businesses invest, innovate and create jobs.”

Mr Sunak also vowed to “fix” the “mistakes” of his predecessor Ms Truss’s brief leadership and warned of “difficult decisions” ahead for the nation amid the cost of living crisis.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a close ally of Mr Johnson, was the first to concede he would not get a job in the new Cabinet as the new Prime Minister began a reshuffle, quitting as Business Secretary this afternoon.



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