Tom Tugendhat admits he would stick 'closely' to Boris Johnson's 2019 manifesto despite calling PM 'dishonest'

Tom Tugendhat told GB News his name will be on the ballot for the next vote, despite gathering the lowest number of backers in the latest round

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Conservative Party leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat MP has admitted he would "stick closely" to the 2019 manifesto on which Boris Johnson was elected, despite questioning the PM’s “honesty”.

In an exclusive interview with GB News, the Tory leadership candidate told Conservative MPs Esther McVey and Philip Davies that Boris Johnson was able to seal “most” of Brexit, but there is still work to be done.

Tom Tugendhat spoke to Esther McVey and Philip Davies on GB News.
Tom Tugendhat spoke to Esther McVey and Philip Davies on GB News.

Tugendhat said in a Tory leadership debate that Boris Johnson is dishonest, a subject the other candidates failed to give a clear stance on.

Conservative MP Philip Davies asked Tugendhat about his “scathing” comments on the Prime Minister, who is currently acting as a caretaker Prime Minister until a new Tory leader is elected.

Mr Tugendhat said that despite this, he will be sticking “fairly closely’ to Boris Johnson’s 2019 manifesto.

He told GB News: “One of the other things I’ll be making sure is delivered is Brexit.

Boris Johnson is currently serving as caretaker Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson is currently serving as caretaker Prime Minister.

“What Boris Johnson has done is delivered most of Brexit, let’s be honest there’s still Northern Ireland, and that’s a really big issue, let’s not kid ourselves that it’s going to be easy because it’s not."

In the latest round of voting, Mr Tugendhat dropped five votes but insisted he would not quit the race as the remaining contenders progress to a round of televised debates.

“I have never turned down a challenge because the odds were against me. I don’t plan to start now,” the senior backbencher said.

Rishi Sunak came out on top in the voting, but squabbles have ensued regarding who should be the candidate to oppose the former Chancellor were he to progress to the final round, with Lord Frost calling on Kemi Badenoch to stop down in order to facilitate Liz Truss' campaign.

“Kemi and Suella Braverman set out convincing programmes, with differing emphases, for change. But Liz’s depth of experience, her energy and ideas – as well as the simple fact she has the most votes of the three – put her in the lead.

“It is now time for pragmatism. I urge Kemi to stand down in return for a serious job in a Truss administration.”

He also stepped up his attacks on Ms Mordaunt, saying she was “absent on parade” when he worked with her on post-Brexit negotiations last year.