In an interview on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Raab’s previous comment about the Tories “looking after the well-off” were put to him. The ex-Brexit secretary, whose own bid for Number 10 failed when he could not get the support of enough MPs, denied he had woes about what a Johnson leadership could mean for the image of the Conservative party. He responded: “No, and one of the things that I think Boris has done during the course of this leadership contest is not just show that he’s the ‘Heineken candidate’ that can reach parts of the electorate that others can’t, but take on ideas.
“So he’s talked about national insurance, which is tax cuts, for the very lowest paid.”
He added: “Those on lower-middle incomes ought to be the recipients of tax cuts.”
Mr Raab said Boris is determined to “unite the aspiration of lower and middle-income and working class families in this country and actually saying you’re going to cut the taxes of the lowest paid but also those on middle incomes, I think is a really powerful message”.
Mr Raab said the central reasons for him throwing his support behind Mr Johnson was because he believed the former Foreign Secretary would deliver on the results of the June 2016 referendum “come what may by the end of October”.
He said he had also been won over by Mr Johnson’s proposal to increase the education budget and back him in keeping the no-deal option on the table.
He said Mr Johnson, as opposed to Jeremy Hunt, was the man with the “most optimism about the future”.
He said: “The thing that is holding Britain back, economically, politically, in ever way, is the rut we’re in – we’ve got to get out of it – and we won’t do that until we deliver Brexit.”
Tory Remainer Sam Gyimah has said up to 30 Conservative MPs would try to block a no-deal Brexit.
Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said if the new premier crashed the UK out of the bloc it would have devastating consequences for the agriculture industry.
Mr Raab admitted there are “certainly some sectors” which will be at risk by a no-deal outcome but those risks could be managed with a “can-do spirit, with giving clear indication that we’ll support all of our sensitive industries through this”.
He said he believes Mr Johnson “encapsulates and epitomises” this kind of spirit.
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11.41am update: Poll shows general public prefer Hunt to Johnson
A poll has found the general public would prefer to see Mr Hunt in Number 10 rather than Mr Johnson, but the mood is not reflective of Tory voters.
Research conduced by former Conservative Party Deputy Chairman Lord Ashcroft for the Mail on Sunday showed 34 percent believe the Foreign Secretary would be the person best suited to lead the country, with 27 percent backing Mr Johnson.
But 47 percent of Tory voters who took part in the poll backed the frontrunner, while 29 percent got behind Mr Hunt.
A total of 8,223 adults took part on June 24-28.