Rishi Sunak's deputy denies Covid's rift between his boss and Boris Johnson after Chancellor said "our lives can no longer be put on hold" and Tory rebels win the "rule of six" vote.
- Treasury Chief Sec. Stephen Barclay insisted that both men work "together".
- Mr. Sunak said Thursday the nation must learn to "live without fear".
- Mr. Johnson's remarkable absence from the Commons Chamber sparked rumors of rifts
Rishi Sunak's deputy has ditched proposals for a rift between the Chancellor and Boris Johnson over the government's coronavirus strategy.
Treasury Secretary's Chief Secretary Stephen Barclay insisted that the two men "worked together" and denied that numbers 10 and 11 have any different approaches.
On Thursday, Mr Sunak said the nation must learn to "live without fear" just days after the prime minister tightened coronavirus laws while cases rose sharply.
The Chancellor unveiled his winter economic plan, saying "our lives can no longer be put on hold," which has been widely interpreted to contradict his boss' message.
Mr Johnson's notable absence from the Commons Chamber – he was touring a Northamptonshire police station instead – sparked further rift speculation.
Meanwhile, MPs will be granted a vote on Oct. 6 on Mr Johnson's controversial rule of six, a win for more than 40 Tory rebel MPs.
Rishi Sunak's deputy today ditched proposals for a rift between the Chancellor (pictured left yesterday) and Boris Johnson (pictured today in his Uxbridge constituency) over the government's coronavirus strategy
Treasury Secretary's Chief Secretary Stephen Barclay insisted that the two men "worked together" and denied that numbers 10 and 11 have any different approaches
Mr Barclay downplayed reports of a rift, telling BBC Radio 4's Today, "The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are working very closely together and I think you can tell by the meshing of policies."
He said it was necessary to work "in parallel between the health measures announced by the Prime Minister and those of the Chancellor".
On Sky News, Mr Barclay was asked if the Chancellor's use of the word "fear" was a suggestion that people should not obey instructions.
He replied: “On the contrary. I think what is very clear from the message, said the Chancellor, we have to address health risks in order to protect jobs. & # 39;
Downing Street insisted that there was no rift at the top of the government, but Tory MPs are growing increasingly worried about the government's move to impose sweeping restrictions without parliament voting.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets shoppers and shopkeepers on a visit to his constituency in Uxbridge, west London
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure from Tory MPs to outline how Britain will pay for the coronavirus crisis after pointing out tax increases yesterday
More than 40 Tory MPs have backed an amendment by Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 committee, that could force a debate on action.
The rebel number could obliterate Mr Johnson's 80-seat majority and cause him to lose the crunch vote.
Senior Conservatives were impressed by the Chancellor, and back bench MP Tom Tugendhat praised Mr Sunak's approach when asked if it was number 10 or 11 running the show.
He said today: “I am sure the Prime Minister runs the government. But I think Rishi Sunak did an extremely impressive job yesterday and I have to say he has great faith in Conservative banks and when I speak to people across the country, and certainly the people I represent in Kent he also has great support. & # 39;
Forty-year-old Sunak, whose net approval rating is high in the polls, has been named a potential future leader.
He was promoted to Chancellor in February after his predecessor Sajid Javid resigned after refusing to fire his entire team of advisors.
The relationships between numbers 10 and 11 on Downing Street were tested many times, notably in the Blair / Brown years.
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