The favourite to be the next prime minister will strip the Government department of all existing tasks and demand civil servants focus their attention on no deal preparations. The aim of the change is to swoop in and take back control of the Brexit process handed to MPs by an embattled Theresa May following three failed meaningful votes, The Times reports. Meanwhile, Mr Johnson – who is widely expected to beat rival Jeremy Hunt for the coveted role of leader of the Conservative Party on Wednesday – is facing mounting pressure to make Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith his deputy if he gets the keys to No10 next week.
The veteran Eurosceptic, who fronted the Tories previously, would be the perfect rights-hand man for Mr Johnson by acting as a guard against the blond watering down his promises, members of the influential European Research Group (ERG) said.
Mr Johnson said he will take the UK out of the EU by Halloween “do or die” and with or without a deal.
But Westminster and Brussels critics are sceptical he would actually stick to his pledge and implement a no deal Brexit if both sides cannot strike an agreement before the October 31 final deadline.
A senior member of the ERG, which is chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg, told The Sun: “Boris will come under huge pressure immediately from the civil service to water down his campaign pledges.
“It is essential to have a wise head like Iain’s alongside him to hold the line from day one.”
Mr Duncan Smith has been on the backbenches since resigning as work and pensions secretary in March 2016.
Today it also emerged MPs from the powerful 1922 Committee are working to change current leadership rules to protect Mr Johnson from a Remainer attack.
The Committee of Conservative backbenchers are looking to introduce a new rule that stops a new Prime Minister from facing a vote of no confidence during their first year in the position.