I WAS surprised to see my MP, Rishi Sunak, appearing recently on national television to endorse the candidature of Boris Johnson for PM.

I was even more surprised to see Mr Sunak acting as an apologist for Johnson’s recent and past behaviour by urging viewers to ignore Johnson’s ‘private life’ and to concentrate on his track record in public office.

I had assumed that Rishi Sunak embraced traditional Conservative values such as the significance and integrity of the family, probity in public office, advocacy for business and effective management of the economy.

Boris Johnson pays scant regard to any of these core Conservative values in either his private or public persona; he is a consistent and unapologetic dissembler, has displayed flawed judgement in every leadership role and is considered an incompetent buffoon by those who have worked closely with him in both the UK and abroad.

After closely managed hustings, a contorted selection process and arcane voting procedures the country is edging towards having a new PM. This event will be the handiwork of a minute, self-selected and unrepresentative oligarchy of mainly elderly individuals of whom 70 per cent are male, 97 per cent white, 60 per cent southern based and 86 per cent in higher social classes. In a country which asserts its democratic heritage and which claims to be the epitome of fairness the nature of this process is indefensible.

Rishi Sunak’s championing of Boris Johnson is similarly indefensible; and one wonders if our MP is more concerned with his own short term career prospects than the wider interests and future-wellbeing of his constituents, irrespective of their political affiliations.

It is a strange day when a Conservative member of parliament knowingly promotes the candidature of a man with few capabilities for the role he aspires to and with a scant regard for the truth.

In the months to come I hope Mr Sunak will reflect on his contribution to the farrago the country finds itself in.

R C Pennington, Stokesley