Boris Johnson pulled into Tory campaign with personalised letters to voters - but may still snub Rishi Sunak

Boris Johnson has been pulled in to help the crisis-hit Conservative election campaign – but he still might snub Rishi Sunak.

The former prime minister has had a tense relationship with his ex-chancellor since Mr Sunak’s resignation hastened his departure from Downing Street.

In recent days he has filmed a series of cameo-style videos for individual Tory candidates who have loyally stood by him over the years – including one who tried to oust Mr Sunak.

Now he has been parachuted into the disastrous Conservative election campaign, as it tries to fight off the threat from Nigel Farage.

Letters exhorting voters to back the Tories, signed by the ex-party leader, are due to land on tens of thousands of doorsteps later this week.

But a spokesman for Mr Johnson would not be drawn on whether the letters would mention Mr Sunak, although he did describe them as “supportive”.

Letters from Boris Johnson urging voters to back the Conservatives are due to land on doorsteps later this week. (Getty)
Letters from Boris Johnson urging voters to back the Conservatives are due to land on doorsteps later this week. (Getty)

Asked if they would mention the prime minister, he said their content “will become clear in due course”.

On Monday, Mr Johnson warned that Labour could get a “supermajority” in this election.

Although he has let it be known he is abroad for much of the time between now and polling day, he is also reported to be in discussions to make an appearance on the campaign trail.

Mr Sunak said that Mr Johnson’s endorsement would “make a difference".He said: “He is endorsing many candidates in videos and letters which have been co-ordinated by the campaign. I know that will make a difference.”

But the Lib Dems said the fact he may not be mentioned in Mr Johnson’s letters showed he was being “airbrushed” out of his own campaign.

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “It’s not like Johnson doesn’t know who the Prime Minister is: he promoted him, was fined for partying with him and then was ultimately replaced by him. Frankly, most people are just sick of this endless Conservative psychodrama. “She added: “Rishi Sunak being airbrushed out of his own campaign by Boris Johnson is a new low.“

In one of his videos last week, the former PM said he was “passionate” that voters should re-elect ally Sir Simon Clarke, who tried to oust Mr Sunak as leader earlier this year warning that the party faced an electoral “massacre” if he remained in charge.

The first video appeared on X, formerly Twitter, just hours after a new poll showed Mr Farage’s Reform party had overtaken the Conservatives for the first time.

The Tories are trying to fight off the threat from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)
The Tories are trying to fight off the threat from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)

The Tories were pushed into third in the survey, by pollsters YouGov, one point behind Reform on 18 per cent to their 19.

The findings are a body blow to Mr Sunak after a gaffe-prone election campaign.

To add to Mr Sunak’s woes, as he welcomed the endorsement, Sir Simon pointed out that Mr Johnson had won a general election campaign, which the current prime minister has not.

In an article earlier this year, Sir Simon said that Mr Sunak has gone “from asset to anchor” and the party faced extinction under his leadership.

Sir Simon said Mr Sunak was not “solely responsible for our present predicament” but his “uninspiring leadership is the main obstacle to our recovery”.

Earlier a minister was forced to insist that it was Mr Sunak, not Mr Johnson, who was moving the Conservative Party forward.

The farming minister was asked by Sky News if Mr Johnson was the Conservatives’ "antidote" to Mr Farage at this election.

Mark Spencer said: "Boris was a fantastic prime minister, certainly in delivering what he did for the Covid vaccine, in making sure that he put us front and centre in the fight for Ukraine. They were huge achievements of the Johnson campaign.

"Boris is no longer a Member of Parliament. He has stepped back from politics and I think now we have got a Prime Minister in Rishi Sunak who has steadied the ship, who is moving us forward.”

Mr Johnon is currently on holiday in Sardinia, according to a post on his wife Carrie’s Instagram account.

The Conservative Party has been approached for comment.