Liz Truss has dismissed criticism that Boris Johnson is hiding from the media during the early stages of his leadership campaign.
Rival Mark Harper said if Mr Johnson has nothing to hide he “wouldn’t mind answering questions”, but Ms Truss told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that the former foreign secretary had been focusing his efforts on gathering support from MPs.
“You’ve got to remember this is the parliamentary stage, so he has been in Parliament, doing lots of hustings with Conservative MPs, answering any questions that people have asked,” she said.
“There is going to be plenty of time for full scrutiny by the media, but this is a long game.”
The Treasury chief secretary is one of Mr Johnson’s most vocal supporters, and said he is the best person to lead Britain out of the European Union.
“He led the Leave campaign, he will deliver by October 31 and I think if we don’t do that we are in serious peril,” she said.
“The public are already at the end of their tether that we haven’t yet delivered Brexit.”
She said the Tory frontrunner can use his large public profile to his advantage if the country is forced into a general election.
“Boris is well-known to the British public and well-liked by the British public. There are very few politicians that can go out there and just have people requesting selfies,” she said.
“The important point now is securing the support of MPs.”