British Culture Minister Nadine Dorries sparked outrage by describing candidate for prime minister Rishi Sunak as a “murderer” of incumbent Boris Johnson.
Writing for the Mail on Sunday, Dorries warned Conservative Party members about the former Treasury Secretary: “The killer’s bright smile, soft voice and even his small stature really fooled many of us,” Dorries wrote. She also retweeted an image showing Sunak as Brutus stabbing the prime minister as Julius Caesar from behind.
“Path of Betrayal”
Dorries is considered one of Johnson’s closest confidants and supports Secretary of State Liz Truss in the election campaign to succeed him. Sunak is treading a “path of treason” and has planned a coup against Johnson, the minister continued.
For weeks, the former finance minister has defended himself against claims that he had long planned to run as prime minister and that his resignation finally ended Johnson. The outgoing prime minister also commented accordingly.
Tories condemn Dorries’ post
Conservative lawmakers criticized the posts as hateful and divisive. Previously, Dorries snubbed the rich Sunak’s expensive clothes. In “Mail”, she now wrote that she had crossed the line with her criticism of Sunak’s appearance. “I wanted to highlight Rishi’s misguided dress code to warn Conservative members not to be fooled by appearances, as many of us who serve with the Chancellor of the Exchequer have been,” she said.
Sunak’s supporter and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Greg Hands called the allegations “tasteless”. On Sky News, he recalled the assassination of Conservative MP David Amess in October 2021. Less than a year has passed since then, Hands said. Statements are dangerous.