Jeremy Hunt has declined to say whether Boris Johnson is an honest man.

The former health minister also refused to rule himself out of a future Tory leadership contest. 

Asked on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme whether Mr Johnson is “an honest man” in the wake of the partygate scandal, Mr Hunt hesitated and then said that “talking about personalities is not a helpful thing to do” when faced with a “serious” international situation such as the Ukraine war.

Quizzed by presenter Sophie Raworth on whether the Prime Minister was the best person to lead the Tory party into the next election, Mr Hunt answered: “I very much hope so.

“I hope he can turn things round, because, as I say, I don’t think this is the moment for a leadership contest.”

Mr Hunt lost out to Mr Johnson in the 2019 Tory leadership contest, finishing a distant second. 

Asked if he would consider running for the top job if there was to be another vacancy, he told the BBC: “I don’t rule out a return to frontline politics myself, but I don’t think now is the right moment.

“Britain has been the most robust member of the Western alliance in the face of the first major war in Europe in our lifetimes and I think the only person who would rejoice if we had a hiatus of several months in the leadership in Britain would be (Russian president) Vladimir Putin.”