Rishi Sunak said there would be “integrity, professionalism and responsibility at all levels of government”. (Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak has formally announced that he is Tory leader and prime minister.
The former chancellor said he wanted to “fix the economy, unite our party and do good for our country”.
Sunak said there would be “integrity, professionalism and accountability at all levels of government” in an apparent attempt to distinguish himself from his predecessors.
In a tweet posted on social media, Sunak wrote: “I served as your chancellor, helping to drive our economy through the toughest times.
“The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities, if we make the right choice, are phenomenal.
“I have the delivery track record, a clear plan to solve the biggest problems we face and I will deliver on the promise of the 2019 manifesto.”
This weekend there were reports that Sunak had held talks with Boris Johnson in an attempt to “unify” the party.
Sunak’s decision to declare his candidacy suggests that the talks broke down without an agreement.
To enter the leadership ballot, candidates must secure the nominations of 100 MPs.
The former chancellor is currently leading with 133 public statements, with Johnson at 55 and Penny Mordaunt at 23.
In a major boost to his campaign, Sunak, who lost to Liz Truss in the latest leadership race, secured the support of prominent figures on the party’s right.
Brexiteer rebel Steve Baker and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch have both pledged their support for Sunak in the interest of party unity.
Shortly after Sunak’s statement, Interior Minister Grant Shapps confirmed that he also supported the former chancellor.
“We need someone who can provide stability and proven economic competence in these difficult times, and Rishi Sunak is that person,” he tweeted.
A potential return for Johnson, who was ousted by his own MPs just three months ago, has exposed deep divisions in the Conservative party.
Baker warned that the controversy surrounding Johnson over the partygate scandal and the privileges commission’s investigation into deceiving lawmakers on the matter meant that “Boris was going to be a guaranteed disaster.”
Damian Green, Theresa May’s deputy prime minister, said he didn’t think another Johnson prime minister “would work.”
On Sunday he told Sophy Ridge: “We saw what happened last time. The government literally fell apart with about 60 resignations, so I don’t think it would work. I think particularly not at the moment.
“We all know that this standards committee investigation is ongoing and as long as it is ongoing there is a possibility that if he becomes the leader again, in a couple of months we would all be here again and, absolutely, we shouldn’t pass the time. Village”.
Earlier on Sunday, Johnson’s allies insisted that he would be in the Tory leadership race and that he had the numbers to go to the ballot.
Business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “I have spoken to Boris Johnson and clearly he will stand up, there is great support for him.”
Northern Ireland secretary and former whip boss Chris Heaton-Harris, who is also backing Johnson, said he thought Johnson would run, telling Sky News: “This is a time when we need a major player. like Boris in our politics, so I think he will. “
“We certainly have enough numbers: we have already booked an appointment with Bob Blackman, the secretary of the 1922 Committee, tomorrow.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.