Boris Johnson wants ‘anyone but Rishi Sunak’ to replace him as UK PM: Report

lONDON: UK prime minister Boris Johnson has reportedly told defeated Conservative leadership candidates to back “anyone but Rishi” as he feels betrayed by the former chancellor of the exchequer.

Johnson is convinced that Sunak has been plotting his leadership bid for months and blames him for his downfall, according to a story in “The Times” in the UK.

Citing a series of anonymous sources, the story said that Johnson was telling MPs knocked out of the leadership race that Sunak, son-in-law of Narayana Murthy, should not be UK PM.

a source said Johnson “appeared most keen” on foreign secretary Liz Truss and was also open to junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt for the top job.

The Times quoted sources as saying: “The whole No. 10 team hates Rishi. It’s personal. It’s vitriolic. They don’t blame Saj [Sajid Javid] for bringing him down.

One source told the Times Johnson was worried Sunak would go “soft” on Putin and another said that Johnson had been unhappy with Sunak’s lack of a compelling growth strategy

Yet a Sunak ally rejected these allegations, saying: “Rishi led the way in enforcing the toughest sanctions on Russia.”

Sunak came under intense criticism in March over his multi-millionaire wife Akshata Murthy’s links to Infosys.

His family were at the time accused of profiting from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime since Infosys had a presence in Moscow.