A Tory minister has been mocked for publicly declaring his support for Boris Johnson’s bid for the Tory leadership, then switching to his main rival Rishi Sunak less than half an hour later.

Nadhim Zahavi, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said Britain should “prepare for Boris 2.0” in an article published by the Daily Telegraph at 9pm.

But just two minutes before that, Johnson issued a statement saying he had made up his mind withdraw from the race.

Nadhim Zahavi’s article in support of Boris Johnson was published at 9pm

In a remarkable turnaround, Zahawi is who called on Johnson to resign as prime minister in July – then tweeted at 9:29 p.m. announcing that he had switched to supporting Sunak.

Unsurprisingly, Zahavi has come under fire on Twitter for his latest embarrassing U-turn.

The Tory leadership contest is now a two-horse race between Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.

Still, Sunak is the hot favorite, having already secured more than 120 nominations compared to Mordaunt’s 24.

The deadline for reaching the threshold of 100 MPs is tomorrow by 14:00.

But a source close to Sunak said: “We are not taking anything for granted. Rishi will continue his talks with colleagues tomorrow morning before the nomination papers come in and discuss how best to unite the party and move the country forward.”

A Mordaunt campaign source said: “Penny is still running for Conservative leader.

“Penny is the unifying candidate most likely to hold the wings of the Conservative Party together, and the poll shows she is the most likely candidate to hold on to the seats won by the Conservative Party in 2019.”