Leadership contenders seek recipe for success ahead of first hustings event

The two contenders to be the UK’s next Prime Minister sought to sustain their campaigns with food-related photocalls ahead of the first hustings in the contest.

Jeremy Hunt enjoyed a traditional tandoori mixed grill in Birmingham’s so-called Balti Triangle while Boris Johnson visited a bakery in Bicester.

Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt dropped into Imrans on Sparkbrook’s Ladypool Road, chatting with head chef Usman Afzal Butt and co-owners Irfaan Afzal Butt, Asif Mehmood, and Imran Afzal Butt.

After being shown how to make a lamb achari and rolling a naan bread, Mr Hunt sat down to talk with young party members.

Imrans, a 250-seat restaurant serving authentic dishes from the Punjab and the Northwest Frontier since the early 1970s, attracts customers from across the UK and was visited by David Cameron in 2009 – a year before he became Prime Minister.

Restaurant co-owner Mr Mehmood, a Conservative Party member, remained tight-lipped about whether he would back Mr Hunt or Mr Johnson.

Mr Mehmood, who has stood unsuccessfully for election to Birmingham City Council. said: “It’s a big honour for us to have the Foreign Secretary here.

“Whoever is the leader of the party, I think think they would be good for the country. They both have a good view on Brexit and they would both offer good quality leadership.”

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson popped into Nash’s Bakery, where he donned an apron and helped behind behind the counter.