Liz Truss has been urged not to give Boris Johnson a ministerial job if she becomes Britain’s next prime minister.
The front-runner in the race was also urged to keep open a dirty inquiry into Mr Johnson’s behaviour.
Ms Truss, who is currently Foreign Secretary, has indicated she would like to drop the British Privileges Committee’s inquiry into whether Mr Johnson misled Westminster Parliament.
She raised eyebrows Tuesday night after saying she would vote “in principle” to drop the investigation. She and Rishi Sunak have yet to say whether they would keep Mr Johnson at the forefront of politics or give him a peerage or knighthood.
In a letter to Ms Truss, Liberal Democrat politician Christine Jardine urged her to rule out coming to Mr Johnson’s rescue.
She said it was crucial that the next prime minister “committed to restoring standards in public life” by, among other things, barring peerages or knighthoods for Mr Johnson.
It is normal for former prime ministers to be knighted while remaining backbenchers and then knighted on leaving the House of Commons.
Ms Jardine also said Ms Truss should put on record that she would resign if she lied to Parliament.
She also said her party wants the Ministerial Code to be incorporated into UK law, with a new independent adviser appointed to oversee it.
“During his three years as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has extensively overturned standards of public life,” the letter reads.
“From the highly worrying decisions regarding the appointment of Chris Pincher to the Prime Minister’s lies about Partygate; From the Owen Paterson affair to the Downing Street refurbishment, we’ve seen scandal after scandal engulfing government.
“All of this has done enormous damage to public confidence in politics.
“It is important, for the sake of our democracy, that we use the moment of the Prime Minister’s departure to restore that confidence and put politics back to work for the British people.”
Ms. Truss and her campaign managers have yet to respond to the letter. When Mr Johnson was ousted from office last month, Ms Truss was notable among Tory ministers as she said she supported his leadership.
He has yet to say whether he will seek a new government role or even remain as an MP – but his political career could be extended indefinitely if a Truss cabinet gives him a lifetime seat in the House of Lords.
He has reportedly told aides he could make a comeback and even become prime minister again in an apparent attempt to emulate Winston Churchill.
“The public has lost all trust in conservative politicians. In scandal after scandal, they have shown themselves to be the party to lies, breaking the law and corruption,” Ms Jardine said.
“Both Truss and Sunak have supported Boris Johnson for months and Truss’ comments are just the latest attempt to break the rules and let Johnson get away with his disgraceful conduct.
“He is clearly unfit to hold public office, let alone receive any sort of honor or nobility.”
Yesterday Ms Truss dismissed calls to meet Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to discuss the cost of living crisis and agree on a support package before the Tory leadership contest ends.
The lead candidate to replace Mr Johnson called such a meeting “constitutionally grossly undesirable” and said she was instead focusing on her work as foreign secretary.
“We have a chancellor, we have a prime minister. They are capable people who can make these decisions. This kangaroo committee you’re proposing sounds bizarre,” she said.
However, Mr Sunak said he would be happy to join his rival and the outgoing Prime Minister in a room to discuss future support for UK voters amid warnings about the cost of energy bills.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/liz-truss-is-urged-to-rule-out-any-cabinet-return-for-boris-johnson-41904232.html Liz Truss is urged to rule out Boris Johnson’s return to cabinet