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Zahawi’s Johnson U-turn

(Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

So much has happened over the last few months, that perhaps Nadhim Zahawi should be forgiven for a slight lapse in memory. The Tory MP, and former chancellor, has this morning come out to back Boris Johnson to become leader of the Conservative party and prime minister again. Zahawi wrote on Twitter:

That’s strange. Has Zahawi forgotten what he, er, also wrote on Twitter back in July, when, after just over a day in the Treasury, he threatened to resign from Boris Johnson’s government? No bother. Mr S can remind the onetime Tory leadership hopeful:

Yesterday, I made clear to the Prime Minister alongside my colleagues in No10 that there was only one direction where this was going, and that he should leave with dignity’, Zahawi wrote in a statement back in the bygone era of July 2022. ‘I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened and that he is now undermining the incredible achievements of this Government at this late hour.

He continued to argue, quite persuasively, that ‘the country deserves a government that is not only stable, but which acts with integrity.’ So the PM who Zahawi said wouldn’t ‘leave with dignity’ back in the summer, was actually, apparently now told with the benefit of hindsight, ‘contrite.’ Once ‘undermining’, now ‘honest about his mistakes.’

Mr S would love to know what’s changed, but perhaps Mr Zahawi has forgotten that too…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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