Jeremy Hunt plays his cards right as Damian Green leaves the stage
Green's demise was described as a 'sad moment' by the man who could replace him.
With Damian Green sacked from the cabinet after an inquiry found he had breached the ministerial code, insiders are backing Jeremy Hunt to step into his shoes as the prime minister’s deputy.
One Wednesday night, the health secretary was tipped by two of the lobby’s big beasts: The Times’ political editor Francis Elliott and his Sunday Times counterpart Tim Shipman.
It comes as Hunt has publicly changed his mind to position himself as pro-leave. He has also sounded out colleagues and party donors about a run for the Tory leadership when Theresa May stands down, according to one recent report.
Appearing on the Today programme this morning, Hunt admitted that Green was sacked, saying he had "lied on a particular incident" and called it a "sad moment".
He also expressed concerns about the behaviour of the police and praised May as "someone of the most extraordinary resilience in very, very challenging circumstances".
Asked if he wanted the top job, Hunt pulled off a solid non-denial denial, stating that "I want to carry on doing what I’m doing now," before adding that "obviously these things are a matter for the prime minister".
Former Downing Street communications chief Craig Oliver called it an "adept" and "frank" interview and commended Hunt for "a decent body swerve on the leadership". He added that Hunt was "ending the year on a high".
Shipman also thought that Hunt had done a good job. He tweeted: "This is a very sensibly frank interview from Jeremy Hunt. By admitting Green was sacked he gains space to take a pop at the police. He is now the official minister for the Today programme. Buy shares."
Picture by: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images.