Rishi Sunak 'knows his days are numbered' says expert
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Mr Johnson is claimed to have suggested sacking his Downing Street neighbour after a letter from the Chancellor calling for the easing of travel restrictions leaked last week. The Prime Minister is thought to have said Mr Sunak could be made Health Secretary in a meeting of No10 officials.
The remarks are thought to have been made “half in jest” with Mr Johnson not expected to carry out his threat.
He is said to have been unaware the letter had even been written to him and was outraged the first he heard of it was in the media.
There have been a number of clash points between No10 and No11 in recent weeks with the Chancellor pushing for a greater re-opening of society to help the economy recover from the pandemic.
Billions of pounds have been borrowed by the Treasury since the first national lockdown last spring to help Britain through the Covid crisis.
Mr Johnson’s threat to now get rid of the Chancellor have left Conservative colleagues livid.
“It’s all beyond pathetic, and showing a lack of team spirit,” one MP told the Sun.
“Rishi has a s**t job to do to try and keep spending on an even footing.
“The problem is, it’s the PM’s instinct to just say yes to everyone.
“All of it is unhelpful when we’re still in a global pandemic and trying to rebuild.”
An ally of the Chancellor was even more blunt.
“If he demotes him he’s only signing his death warrant. There’s nobody else as good as Rishi,” they told The Telegraph.
“He’s the most popular character in the Government.
“I think he brings stability.
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“I don’t see why you would remove him.”
A poll of Conservative party members published last week showed Mr Sunak has a net satisfaction rating of 74.1 percent, with only International Trade Secretary Liz Truss scoring higher.
The Prime Minister’s net satisfaction rating was just 3.4 percent, a drop of 36 points in a month.
The popularity of the No11 resident is likely to make life difficult for Mr Johnson.
The Chancellor is preparing for a tough spending review later this year as he attempts to repair the public finances following the coronavirus crisis.
However, the Prime Minister has promised there can be no return to austerity.
The friction risks putting the two men on a collision course later this year.
Amid the fallout, a Treasury source said: “The Chancellor is solely focused on securing the country’s economic recovery and continuing to protect and create jobs.”
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