Boris Johnson Planned To Oust Rishi Sunak As Chancellor Before He Quit, Aide Claims
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.
Boris Johnson planned to oust Rishi Sunak from his job as chancellor shortly before he resigned, an ally has claimed.
Guto Harri, who served as No.10’s director of communications under Johnson, suggested Sunak would have fallen victim to a reshuffle.
He told LBC there was a “fundamental disagreement of policy between the two of them”.
“The tension between them was building,” he said. “Boris was desperate to give something to the party, did not want to put up corporation tax.
Guto Harri served as Boris Johnson's director of communications.
“He didn’t want to cut taxes. He did want to bring the bread and butter benefits of Brexit to ordinary punters.
“Rishi was reluctant to do all of that. So frankly, to cut to the chase, if things hadn’t turned out as they did last July, I think over the summer we’d have had a reshuffle and Rishi would have been offered a different job should we say.”
Asked if Johnson was preparing to move Sunak from the chancellor job, he said: “Yes. But the chancellor beat him to it in a way and brought the whole show down.”
Harri said he also thought it was not realistic for Johnson to return to power at the moment, but suggested that there was a possibility it could happen after the next general election.
It is one of a number of bombshell allegations revealed by Harri as part of a new podcast called Unprecedented, for Global Player.
He hit the headlines on Tuesday morning with claims the former prime minister confronted the king over the government’s controversial Rwanda policy.
Harri said Johnson told him he “went in quite hard” on the then-prince, “essentially squaring up” to him for branding the asylum policy “appalling”.
Johnson disputed his ally’s account as “inaccurate” and a source said he “deplores” any commentary on conversations with royals.
Boris and Charles on June 24, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Johnson discussed Charles’ reported criticism of the scheme when the pair met in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali at a Commonwealth summit in June.
At the time, the former PM described the discussion as a “good old chinwag” that “covered a lot of ground”.
But writing in the Daily Mail, Harri says that the meeting was “less amicable” than suggested.
The former BBC journalist wrote: “‘I went in quite hard’, he told me at the time, essentially squaring up to the prince and confronting him about what he – as unelected royalty – had said about the actions of a democratically elected government.
“Prince Charles was busted. He had obviously expressed some criticism, and though he tried to play it down, Boris pointed out the obvious, (saying): ‘If you didn’t say it we both know your people could ring the newspapers and kill the story. The fact they haven’t done that says it all’.”
Former prime minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson arrive at the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 in London.
Harri claimed Charles and Johnson had struggled to get on for years after the politician was late for a meeting while London mayor, but that Rwanda was the final straw.
“Relations never fully recovered and Charles will be relieved that Boris had left No.10 before he ascended to the throne,” he added.
Johnson brought Harri into No.10 after a clear out of aides over the partygate scandal, bringing back his former City Hall communications adviser into his inner circle.
A source close to Johnson said: “Boris Johnson does not recognise this account and it is inaccurate. It does not accurately reflect any conversation
“We would never comment on these matters and Mr Johnson deplores any attempt to do so.”
King Charles Shows Support For Study Examining Royal Family's Ties To Slavery
King Charles III: What The UK's New Monarch Stands For And Why It Matters
Rwanda Plan Branded A 'Failure' As 13,000 Migrants Cross Channel Since Announcement
Prince Charles Should Keep An 'Open Mind' About Rwanda Asylum Plan, Says Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson Hits Back At Prince Charles Over Government's Rwanda Asylum Plan
Rwanda Deportation Flight Grounded After Asylum Seekers Win Legal Fights