Tory civil war erupts as Nadine Dorries says Jeremy Hunt ‘wrong about everything’

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Nadine Dorries hit out at Jeremy Hunt on Twitter (PA Wire)
Nadine Dorries hit out at Jeremy Hunt on Twitter (PA Wire)

A Tory civil war erupted on Monday as culture secretary Nadine Dorries accused her colleague Jeremy Hunt of “being wrong about almost everything”.

It came hours after Mr Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, announced he would be voting against Boris Johnson in a confidence ballot.

Sir Graham Brady confirmed a vote will be held between 6pm and 8pm to determine whether Mr Johnson will continue as party leader after 54 no confidence letters were sent in to the 1922 Committee.

Shortly after news of the vote broke, Mr Hunt tweeted Mr Johnson was not offering the “integrity, competence and vision” necessary to govern the country – fuelling speculation about a leadership bid.

“Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer and more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values,” he said.

“Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change.”

Hitting back at Mr Hunt in a series of explosive tweets, Ms Dorries accused him of failing to prepare for the Covid pandemic during his time in Government.

“Your handling of the pandemic would have been a disaster,” she wrote. “Your pandemic preparation during six years as health secretary was found wanting and inadequate.

“Your duplicity right now in destabilising the party and country to serve your own personal ambition, more so.”

Ms Dorries went on to accuse Mr Hunt of recommending China’s model of dealing with the Covid pandemic, with cases “removed from their homes and placed into isolation hotels for two weeks”.

She also claimed Mr Hunt, who ran against Mr Johnson in the 2019 leadership election, had told her that he would “swoop in” if the Government collapsed due to Brexit.

“If you had been leader you’d have handed the keys of No 10 to Corbyn,” she added. “You’ve been wrong about almost everything, you are wrong again now.”

The Standard has approached a representative for Jeremy Hunt for further comment.

Later on during an interview with Sky News, Ms Dorries said there was a “well-organised campaign” to oust Mr Johnson from power.

“It’s a perfect storm for some - it’s remainers who are taking in others who are disaffected and, for a number of reasons, those who who’ve lost their jobs in cabinet or as ministers, and I’m afraid anyone who says that this isn’t organised is not telling you the truth.

“It is a very well-organised campaign by a small number of individuals, some who believe that they should be the next prime minister.”

Meanwhile, Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said that even if Mr Johnson wins by one vote it would be "enough" for him to have a mandate to continue as Prime Minister.

He added: “One is enough. That's the rule in a democracy - if you win by one you win.”

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