Tom Tugendhat admitted the foreign secretary “would be a fantastic job to do” but insisted Tory leader Liz Truss had made no promises to him.
Mr Tugendhat, who also stood as a candidate to succeed Boris Johnson, is the latest senior Tory MP to back Ms Truss over Rishi Sunak.
Mr Tugendhat and Ms Truss shared a warm embrace at a campaign rally at Biggin Hill Airport in south London on Saturday, during which he said the current foreign secretary’s tax cut promises were based on: “true conservative principles” and that he can unite the party.
Mr Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons’ foreign affairs committee, was asked by reporters if he would be willing to be appointed foreign secretary in return for backing Ms Truss.
“Well, look, it would be a fantastic job to do, let’s not pretend it won’t happen,” he replied.
But there are “a lot of other things that I’ve talked about that I want to do,” he added, hinting that he’d like to go into business.
“But the reality is that I haven’t been promised anything, I don’t expect anything,” he continued.
“I hope for a lot, but I have no right to expect anything.”
Asked whether Mr Tugendhat would be foreign minister in the government she leads, Ms Truss said it would be “too early” to make such a decision because “the leadership election is not over”.
But he extended an olive branch to Mr Tugendhat, describing him as a “very, very talented person”.
Boris Johnson celebrated his wedding with wife Kerry on Saturday.
Asked if she should have “focused more on the crises facing our country”, Mrs Truss replied: big crisis
“I think she has every right to enjoy her wedding day and I wish her, Carrie and the whole family all the best.”
As for the cost-of-living crisis, Ms Truss said one way to combat it was to “grow the economy”.
She also said she’s a “high school fan” and her “two daughters are both in high school.”
When asked about his status as a leader, he answered: “This is a very, very close race and I’m fighting for every vote.”
Rishi Sunak also stepped out on the campaign trail on Saturday, tweeting photos of himself with supporters in the south of England with the caption: “Saturday is busy with hundreds of members meeting.
The former chancellor was to attack the “wake of nonsense” in a speech apparently designed to galvanize the Tory crowd over the culture war.
He was also expected to tell supporters in West Sussex that he would stop “left-wing campaigners” from “bulldozing our history, our traditions and our fundamental values”.
Tory leadership race. Tugendhat admits foreign minister ‘would be a fantastic job’ but says Truss ‘hasn’t promised anything’ | Political news
Source Tory leadership race. Tugendhat admits foreign minister ‘would be a fantastic job’ but says Truss ‘hasn’t promised anything’ | Political news