Tom Tugendhat rejects claims that he hopes to replace the foreign secretary as “playground gossip”

He then flew to Belarus with a Mail on Sunday journalist who asked him if he wanted to become prime minister.

Mr. Tugendhat replied, “I firmly believe the point is to put our people first and the country first. Of course I would like to try to help shape decisions.

“Of course these are management positions, because that’s how you bring about change. But you can’t do it alone. The key is to have a strong team working together on the same mission. “

The comments were criticized by allies of Mr Raab in Parliament who claimed Mr Tugendhat lacked the ability to be Foreign Minister.

One MP told The Telegraph: “This is getting ridiculous – [Mr Raab] has more integrity than anyone I know in politics. No ego. It all comes from our colleagues.

“Very few MPs have leadership qualities”

“[Mr Tugendhat] has not a tenth of the lead. Dom never thinks of himself. Everything is always for someone else.

“It’s ridiculous. There are very few MPs who have leadership skills and Dom has it.”

Insiders believe the timing of Mr Tugendhat’s speech and visit to Belarus suggest that he is hoping to be promoted by the prime minister soon.

It is believed that Boris Johnson’s cabinet could be reshuffled this fall. It has been suggested that Mr Raab could be demoted after his debacle late return from vacation in Crete during the fall of Kabul.

A source in Whitehall said: “It says something that as soon as he gave the speech, he brought a political journalist to Belarus.

“He voted semi-regularly against the government. He’s got to play the long game, but he’s not doing himself a favor. “

But Mr. Tugendhat denied claims that he was maneuvering for the position.

“I’m not interested in gossip in the playground”

“Dom has an important job and I’m sure he is using whatever resources he can to bring people together and hear advice so that the whole team delivers,” he told The Telegraph.

“I concentrate on doing my best through the networks I have built up over the years in Afghanistan and with the army. Anyone who informs stories is wasting their time.

“I’m not interested in gossip in the playground. I am determined to do what I can to help. For now, I’m focusing on the pressures and threats my friends are facing – not what ‘friends of’ someone is saying.

“If you don’t have the courage to put your name in a quote, you don’t have the courage to lead.”

David Davis, who once hired Mr. Raab as his chief of staff, said: “I have heard a number of names referring to themselves as foreign ministers in the past two weeks.

“I can see that they are attracted to the glamor of the job, but what they failed to consider are the intellectual demands, speed of work required, and broad experience in international affairs required for the position.

“None of the names I’ve heard corresponds to Dominic Raab in that respect.”

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