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Jeremy Hunt must beat Boris Johnson to Tory leadership ‘for good of the country’, warns minister

2 min read

Jeremy Hunt must beat Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership race "for the good of the country", a government minister has told MPs.

Sir Alan Duncan congratulated Mr Hunt - his boss in the Foreign Office - for reaching the run-off in the contest to be the next Prime Minister.

The intervention came after Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry also offered her congratulations to her opposite number.

Responding at the Commons despatch box, Sir Alan said: “I’m very happy to join [Ms Thornberry] in congratulating [Mr Hunt] in reaching the final two and indeed reaching the final one.

“That is what we look forward to for the good of the country.”

Sir Alan has been deeply critical of Mr Johnson before, and earlier this month attacked his failure to display a "conventional diplomatic manner" during his two years at the Foreign Office.

He told the BBC’s Today programme that another country's foreign minister had suggested he was Mr Johnson's “pooper scooper” because he so often cleared up his mess.

"I have to say, Boris as Foreign Secretary was very controversial and did not for Britain necessarily win friends everywhere," he said.

"And as his deputy, I mean, there were quite a lot of consequences sometimes to some of his visits.

“And there was an amusing moment when one foreign minister said to me: ‘Alan, what is it like to be Boris Johnson’s pooper scooper?’

“And cleaning after him was quite a full-time activity.”

He also blasted the leadership frontrunner as needing publicity like “cocaine”, following his resignation last July over Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

He told the Spectator last September: “There was only room for one showman in the Foreign Office. I get on with the diplomacy. But for Boris? Publicity is his cocaine. He needs a regular fix.

“And he equates getting publicity with having political power and authority and respect.”

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