Ms Rudd, who took over her brief from Brexiteer Esther McVey in November after Ms McVey resigned in protest at Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal, called for a statesman to negotiate with Brussels.
Citing Jack and the Beanstalk she claimed “magic beans” and believing in Britain was not enough to guarantee a good deal with the EU.
Revealing her preference for PM in a series of tweets over the weekend, she wrote: “I’m backing @Jeremy_Hunt.
“These are serious times and we need a respected statesman who Brussels will listen to, not more bluster.
“Jeremy is a winner with a track record of success in business and in government.”
She added: “It is not enough to be told to shut your eyes, cross your fingers, pick up some magic beans and believe in Britain.
“These are serious times. They require a serious leader who will be listened to in Brussels. @Jeremy_Hunt is that leader.”