Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries accuses colleague Jeremy Hunt of ‘duplicity’ in Twitter spat over Tory leadership | Politics News


Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has launched a stinging attack on her colleague Jeremy Hunt, accusing him of “duplicity” and “destabilising” the Conservatives.

Her comments come in a series of blunt tweets which some have criticised as unseemly.

Former health secretary Mr Hunt had tweeted he would be voting against Boris Johnson in this evening’s vote of confidence in the prime minister saying: “Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change.”

This provoked anger from Ms Dorries who stormed back with a four-part thread.

She accused Mr Hunt of failing to prepare properly for the COVID pandemic and said if he had won the last Tory leadership election he would have “handed the keys of No 10 to Corbyn”.

Live coverage of the vote of no confidence in the prime minister

“Your handling of the pandemic would have been a disaster,” she wrote. “Your pandemic preparation during six years as health secretary was found wanting and inadequate.

“Your duplicity right now in destabilising the party and country to serve your own personal ambition, more so.”

Ms Dorries claimed Mr Hunt had told her in July 2020, when she was a health minister in his department, that he planned to “swoop in” if the government was to “swiftly collapse on the back of Brexit”.

And ending her thread with a flourish, she added: “You’ve been wrong about almost everything, you are wrong again now.”

Jeremy Hunt says the UK needs to 'urgently' make progress in maternal care following the Shrewsbury and Telford baby death scandal.
Jeremy Hunt stood in the 2019 Tory leadership election

But when challenged by Sky News political editor Beth Rigby about criticism that her comments were both a personal attack on Mr Hunt and divisive to the party, she disagreed, saying there was a concerted behind-scenes effort to oust the prime minister.

Anyone denying that, she said, was “not telling you the truth”.

She added: “It is a very well-organised campaign by a small number of individuals, some who believe that they should be the next prime minister.”

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sked which individuals, she said: “I’m not going to say, but it’s a small number of individuals who’ve organised and whipped up this storm, and I’m afraid we’re going to reach a point where people aren’t going to vote for the Conservative Party because people don’t vote for divided parties.”

Mr Hunt is viewed as a likely contender for PM if a leadership contest is triggered, having made the run-off in 2019 against Mr Johnson.


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