British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former leader Boris Johnson got into a public argument on Monday about the latter’s debatable honors given to some of his most important political cronies.
On Friday, Johnson released his long-awaited list of political honorees, recognizing ardent Brexit supporters as well as people connected to the “Partygate” affair, which played a part in his impeachment last year.
However, Johnson’s team accused Sunak and Downing Street of interfering with it before it was presented because it omitted a number of anticipated names.
The prime minister or other officials removing names off Johnson’s list before it was given to a House of Lords screening committee, according to Sunak’s spokeswoman, is “completely untrue.”
After the committee rejected eight of his candidates for the unelected upper chamber of parliament, the prime minister himself retaliated against Johnson, accusing him of requesting that he override the committee.
He added, “Boris Johnson asked me to do something that I wasn’t prepared to do, because I didn’t think it was right,” during a tech conference in London.
“That was either to defy the House of Lords Appointments Commission (Holac committee) or to make pledges to people.
“I wasn’t ready to carry out it. As I already stated, I didn’t think it was appropriate; if others disagree, tough.
In a statement, Johnson responded, saying: “Rishi Sunak is talking nonsense.”
His resignation honours list, a custom usually waived by the succeeding prime minister, has prompted new factional conflict among the ruling Conservative party.
Prior to Johnson’s resounding victory in the 2019 general election, the party was split along ideological lines over Brexit. Sunak has worked to mend those divisions.
Political analysts have theorized that Johnson is taking revenge on Sunak for removing him from office last July following “Partygate” and a number of other scandals by forcing the resignations.
He said, “Boris Johnson asked me to do something that I wasn’t prepared to do, because I didn’t think it was right,” during a tech conference in London.
“The choice was between disobeying the House of Lords Appointments Commission (Holac committee) and making promises to others.
“I wasn’t prepared to execute it. I didn’t believe that was appropriate, as I’ve already said; if others disagree, tough.
Johnson’s devoted former culture secretary Nadine Dorries and fellow Conservative MP Nigel Adams both quit as lawmakers as a result of their lack of recognition.
Johnson also resigned, blaming political rivals for a cross-party investigation into whether he had lied to parliament about the Covid lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street for his deception.
With a general election looming next year and Sunak’s Tories trailing the main opposition Labour party in the polls, the resignations force them to run in three by-elections.
Johnson criticized Sunak for departing from the party’s principles on everything from Brexit to taxation in his 1,000-word resignation letter that was sent on Friday.