No confidence vote: Jeremy Hunt criticises Boris Johnson, says he will ‘vote for change’

Jeremy Hunt is expected to bid for the Conservative leadership alongside others such as Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Penny Mordaunt

Jeremy Hunt has become the most senior Conservative MP to announce that he will vote against Boris Johnson in a no confidence vote, due to be held later today (6 June).

This latest public rebuke to the Prime Minister is seen as all-but confirming Mr Hunt’s intention to stand in a leadership election should the no confidence vote pass.

Who is Jeremy Hunt MP?

Mr Hunt is among the most senior Conservatives remaining in Parliament, having held one of the four ‘great offices of state’ roles and previously run to become party leader.

First elected as the Conservative MP for South West Surrey, a safe-seat, in 2005, Mr Hunt was soon picked out as a rising star of the party.

Having attended Oxford University alongside David Cameron and Boris Johnson, then backing the former in the 2005 Conservative leader election, Mr Hunt became a shadow culture minister the same year he was elected to Parliament.

When the Conservative-Liberal coalition won power in 2010, Mr Hunt became Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.

However, Mr Hunt is best-known for serving as the Conservative health secretary for six years, one of the longest stints in a single cabinet brief in modern politics.

As health secretary Mr Hunt was criticised for enforcing cuts, expanding outsourcing and privatisation within the NHS.

He would later serve as Foreign Secretary under Theresa May, who he then stood to replace in the 2019 leadership election which saw Boris Johnson secure the majority of votes.

Mr Hunt turned down a job offer of Defence Secretary following the leadership election, a step-down from the Foreign Office role.

What did he say about the vote of no confidence?

In a striking attack on Boris Johnson’s leadership, Mr Hunt said the Conserative Party is “no longer trusted by the electorate” and “set to lose the next general election”.

Writing on Twitter, the former Health Secretary said Conserative MP’s know “we are not giving the British people the leadership they deserve”.

He wrote: “The Conservative Party must now decide if it wishes to change its leader. Because of the situation in Ukraine this was not a debate I wanted to have now but under our rules we must do that.

“Having been trusted with power, Conservative MPs know in our hearts we are not giving the British people the leadership they deserve. We are not offering the integrity, competence and vision necessary to unleash the enormous potential of our country.

“And because we are no longer trusted by the electorate, who know this too, we are set to lose the next general election.

“Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer & more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values. Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change.”

Mr Hunt has hinted that he will run for the Conservative leadership on a number of occasions, and has been one of the more vocal senior critics of Johnson in recent months.

As a backbench MP, Mr Hunt has more freedom to criticise the government and Mr Johnson specifically than some of the potential leadership candidates who are currently in government.

According to the bookmakers, Mr Hunt is considered to be the most likely candidate to become Conservative leader.

Current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is also thought to be a front-runner, as is trade minister Penny Mordaunt.