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Sunak says he speaks Boris Johnson 'on occasion' and doesn't rule out bringing him back

Rishi Sunak said he still speaks to Boris Johnson "on occasion" - and did not rule out bringing the former prime minister back into his cabinet.

Mr Sunak said he was "proud" of what the pair achieved before he became one of the first in a series of ministerial departures which ended in the former Tory leader's downfall.

Asked in an interview with ITV whether he misses Mr Johnson, he said: "I'm proud of the work that we did together.

"And we worked well together for a long time. In the end there are, you know, well-documented differences".

On whether he would consider offering a cabinet position to the ex-MP, as he did with David Cameron, Mr Sunak said: "Well, I never talk about these personnel things, but look, I, you know, I speak to him on an occasion."

Pressed on when they last spoke, he said it was "late last year".

Mr Sunak served as chancellor in Mr Johnson's government for two years before resigning along with then-health secretary Sajid Javid in July 2022 over his handling of the Chris Pincher affair.

The move triggered a mass exodus of MPs from government and party roles, even leading to praise from some MPs that Mr Sunak had stabbed Mr Johnson "in the front".

Mr Johnson's leadership had already been hanging by a thread due to the fall-out from the partygate scandal.

After he resigned, a rivalry between Mr Sunak and his former boss then emerged as he embarked on a campaign for Mr Johnson's job, with both vying to take back control of the Tory Party following Liz Truss's short-lived tenure as PM.

Mr Johnson ultimately dropped out of the autumn leadership race and eventually quit as an MP after a parliamentary committee found he had lied to the House over partygate.

But he has made frequent interventions on the political scene, criticising the government over decisions ranging from Brexit to immigration and HS2.

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Later in the interview, Mr Sunak insisted plots against him are "minuscule" following reports of Tory MPs seeking to replace him as leader.

"I don't think the country votes for divided parties," he said, insisting that "the vast majority of our party is united".

The prime minister also insisted his wealth is not an issue for voters and accused those who attack him over it of having a "lack of ambition for our country".

Mr Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, have a combined wealth estimated at about £529m, according to 2023's Sunday Times Rich List.

Polling suggests the prime minister faces an uphill battle ahead of the general election expected later this year, with Labour currently enjoying a sustained lead of around 20 points.

"I think most people in our country are fair-minded," Mr Sunak said.

"And you know what, if someone wants to attack that or make it a political smear, I actually think it says more about them and their ambition for our country, or lack of it, than it does about me and where I come from."