Boris Johnson urges ‘patience’ over travel restrictions
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson was said to have erupted in fury after a letter from his Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for travel restrictions to be eased was leaked to the press just days ago, the Sunday Times reported. Following a meeting with officials at Downing Street, Mr Johnson reportedly suggested Mr Sunak should be demoted to health secretary. The Chancellor’s allies have thrown their support behind him, insisting Mr Sunak’s primary focus remains on his own job.
But the reported row has seen the Prime Minister coming under furious attack from his political rivals, with the Labour Party branding the level of chaos at the top of Government as “disgraceful”.
Bridget Phillipson, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “The prime minister urgently needs to get a grip on the real challenges facing this country.”
The Labour MP added: “The Covid pandemic continues, tens of thousands of livelihoods are still at risk, the climate crisis threatens our planet but he’s busy picking fights with his own government and threatening to sack the chancellor.
“It’s completely disgraceful.”
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told The Independent: “After the calamity of the past two years, the prime minister should look in the mirror and demote himself before worrying about the rest of them.”
The letter from Mr Sunak calling for travel restrictions to be eased is reported to have been sent to the Prime Minister several days before they were due to be published.
Mr Johnson is said have told officials during the meeting at Downing Street: “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.”
During the open meeting, he also then suggested the Chancellor could be demoted in the next reshuffle.
It is unclear whether Mr Johnson was serious about the threat, with the Sunday Times noting he often makes comments “half in jest”.
A significant Cabinet reshuffle is not expected imminently, but the Prime Minister is said to have been impressed by the job done by International Trade Secretary.
He is reportedly considering her as a potential Chancellor, with Jacob Rees-Mogg as her deputy.
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One source said: “The PM keeps talking about Liz Truss.
“He’s always got on quite well with her.
“He thinks she’s controllable.”
Responding to the claims, a Treasury source insisted Mr Sunak is focusing entirely on Britain’s economic situation.
They said: “The Chancellor is solely focused on securing the country’s economic recovery and continuing to protect and create jobs.”
Downing Street declined to comment when contacted by Express.co.uk.
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