Rishi Sunak 'focused on economy' amid reports Boris Johnson talked about demoting him

8 August 2021, 09:27

A report says Boris Johnson openly considered demoting Rishi Sunak
A report says Boris Johnson openly considered demoting Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Rishi Sunak is focused on the economy's recovery amid reports Boris Johnson threatened to demote him.

The Prime Minister is said to have remarked that he could remove Mr Sunak from his role and make him health secretary.

It followed the leaking of a letter from the Chancellor, in which he called for travel restrictions to be eased.

The Sunday Times quoted a source who described Mr Johnson's outburst after the leak.

The source told the newspaper: "He said: 'I've been thinking about it. Maybe it's time we looked at Rishi as the next secretary of state for health. He could potentially do a very good job there.'

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Rishi Sunak is said to be focused on economic recovery
Rishi Sunak is said to be focused on economic recovery. Picture: Alamy

"In an open meeting, after ranting about Rishi, he then suggested the Chancellor could be demoted in the next reshuffle."

The Sunday Times said Mr Johnson had considered Liz Truss as a Chancellor and making Jacob Rees-Mogg, the current leader of the House of Commons, as her deputy.

Mr Johnson is not expected to demote the Chancellor and the newspaper remarked about him being known for making remarks "half in jest".

A Treasury source said: "The Chancellor is solely focused on securing the country's economic recovery and continuing to protect and create jobs."

Relations between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are set to be scrutinised as the Government tries to chart a course out of the economic damage brought on by the pandemic.

Mr Sunak is expected to put forward a tough spending review to repair public finances while Mr Johnson has pledged he does not want to return to austerity.