Tom Tugendhat hinted that run replace Boris Johnson in in next Conservative leadership election as he warned that party was too focused on “separating” politics.
Back bench Tory said his party did not have like “Church, with one true Vera, one Pope”, but what deputies should “offer yourself forward for service” when the next competition for the top position is retained.
After 41% of Conservative MPs said they had no confidence in Johnson’s leadership and with perspective of two by-election defeats looming next week, Tugendhat confessed government was facing difficulties in the medium term.
Asked by the Guardian if he rule out standing for leader, Tugendhat said, “No, I won’t rule it out. And I won’t rule it out because I think that we should be ambitious for themselves, for our communities and for our country… We should offer yourself forward then this up to colleagues and country of choice.
“We must not be offended by [if] no choice in your way. Notes should offer yourself for service. It’s literally the essence of Existence in public service is to offer oneself.”
Address to Conservative MPs at Northern Research Group Conference in Doncaster who pulled Johnson out of in last minute in connection with a visit to Ukraine, Tugendhat admitted that there were “perfectly legitimate” questions about the party’s weakening poll ratings.
He said past several years have beenmore trying than i think should were” and that government was “too ready” to “listen to these divisive voices”.
tugendhat, who represents “blue wall” seat of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, said the bench could still have “powerful voice within party. He added: “You can really change policy as a defender in our partyYou can drive a change that not only makes your community need, and in fact the whole country needs it.”
Tugendhat, and former soldier who now chairs the House of Foreign Commons affairs committee, which is deeply critical of British withdrawal from Afghanistan last in the summer, some touted him as a potential contender for the lead.
Johnson promised fight onand now immune to another no-confidence vote for 12 months.
However, his opponents think they can get group of deputies who set in rules – known as the Committee of 1922 – to halve the period of safety in attempt force his out.
They hope the privileges committee’s investigation prime minister misled parliament over Partygate will cause more Conservative MPs call for him to go.