Amber Rudd rules herself out of Tory leadership race and hints she could support Boris Johnson
Amber Rudd has ruled herself out of the running for Tory leader and hinted that she could back Boris Johnson's bid for the job.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary said it was not "my time at the moment" because the party would want the next Prime Minister to be a Brexiteer.
Responding to speculation that she could support bookies' favourite Mr Johnson, she said: “Sure, I like him yeah. To be brutal I like most of my colleagues. I am not somebody who actually fights. I get on perfectly well with him.
“I have worked with him before. He was Foreign Secretary, I was Home Secretary. We were able to work together.”
She did not state who she backs in the upcoming leadership elections but added that the candidate should be pro-Brexit.
She added: “I am conscious that the Conservative Party wants to have someone who they believe is very enthusiastic about Brexit. I still think it is a difficult job to do but we can do it, we can make a success of it.
“There are all sorts of plans I would like to have when we do leave the European Union but I don’t think it is my time at the moment.”
As a member of the newly-launched One Nation group of Conservative MPs, she will not announce who she supports until the group has held its hustings.
She says: “We want to hold back before committing anybody because we want to interrogate them on the policies.”
A number of candidates have announced their intention to run for the leadership including foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, ex-work and pension secretary Esther McVey, prisons minister Rory Stewart, former leader of the House Andrea Leadsom and ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker.
Sir Graham Brady also announced he had quit as 1922 committee chairman because he was "considering" running to be leader.