Steve Brine, a Tory MP and ally of Jeremy Hunt, said he made a “Freudian slip” when he said the Chancellor would make a “fantastic prime minister”.
Appearing on BBC Politics Live today, Mr Brine said: “It is very tempting to look at Jeremy and say ‘look what you could have won in 2019’. I know Jeremy well, I have worked with him in some of the toughest jobs in government, I have seen him up close and personal under intense pressure.
“He is calm personified. That is why the relationships with the Bank, with the OBR, with the IMF and the conversations that I suspect he has been having in recent days since he was appointed have given them confidence and that is what I want to see from Jeremy.
“The reason that we are out on the airwaves, to be fair I am often out on the airwaves, but the reason why I am out on the airwaves supporting Jeremy is because I think he has the potential to be a fantastic prime minister one day.”
The comment prompted a reaction from his fellow panel members. He then said: “Freudian slip. I think he did have the potential to be a good prime minister which is why I have tried to get him the top job. But the thing is I think he has the potential to be a fantastic Chancellor, working alongside the Prime Minister.”