Brexit LIVE: Donald Trump endorses Boris Johnson for PM – ‘He would be excellent’

Posted on Jun 1 2019 - 10:40pm by admin

The US President spoke of his admiration for the former foreign secretary and revealed that he has been “begged” by other leadership candidates to support them ahead of the crucial vote this June. Boris Johnson is the current favourite to clinch the leadership race, closely followed by Michael Gove and Dominic Raab. But Mr Johnson faces the historical threat that the early leading candidate has never gone on to win the contest, with David Davis famously losing the 2005 leadership race to David Cameron despite being odds-on to take the top job.

The former foreign secretary campaigned to leave the European Union ahead of the 2016 EU Referendum and has been clear he would be prepared to take the UK out of the bloc without a deal on 31 October.

Mr Trump’s comments risk sparking a diplomatic rift between the two countries if Mr Johnson now fails to win the leadership race when Conservative members decide their parties fate over the next couple of weeks.


The US President told The Sun: “It’s something that I find very interesting. I actually have studied it very hard. I know the different players. But I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent.

Brexit news Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is the leading candidate in the Conservative leadership election (Image: GETTY)

“I like him. I have always liked him. I don’t know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person. He has been positive about me and our country.”

Mr Trump’s remarks come just days before he will land in the UK for his second visit since becoming President. He will meet with members of the Royal Family and Prime Minister Theresa May.

It is believed the President is interested in meeting Mr Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage during the trip after he described the pair as “friends” and “good guys”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat chief Sir Vince Cable have declined the invitation to attend the state banquet that will be held for Mr Trump upon his arrival in the UK, while the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said he was “opposed” to the President directly addressing Parliament.

Theresa May and Donald Trump

President Trump will meet outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May (Image: Dan Kitwood / Staff)

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5.00pm update: Former Justice Minister loses no confidence vote in Bracknell constituency

A former government minister has been the latest Conservative MP to lose a vote of no confidence.

The MP for Bracknell, Phillip Lee, lost a vote of no confidence from the Bracknell Conservative Association who called for a poll after 53 members signed a petition.

The former Justice Minister was the first MP to resign his ministerial position over Brexit fallouts back in June 2018 after he claimed the Government’s approach would be bad for businesses in his constituency.

Mr Lee voted to remain in the 2016 EU referendum and voted against Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, despite 54% of people from the area voting to leave in 2016.

Association chairman Gerry Barber said: “The result of the vote was that a majority of members present were in agreement with the motion, which was therefore passed, and the result has been communicated to Dr Lee and to the full membership.”

But, Mr Lee claimed more than half of those who signed the petition were new members that had joined the association a year ago and that he would not be “forced” to make a decision on his future based on an “orchestrated” campaign.

In a statement, Mr Lee said: “In the future, I may or may not decide that I can continue serving as a Conservative Member of Parliament and the Bracknell Conservative Association may or may not decide that they wish to readopt me as the Conservative Party’s candidate.

“But one thing is for sure: we will not be forced into taking a decision one way or the other by this orchestrated, destructive campaign from outside the Party that has done nothing but spread hatred, intimidation and distrust over a single issue. That is not the Conservative way; it is not the Bracknell way.”

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve lost a no confidence in his Beaconsfield constituency in March.

brexit news Phillip Lee

Phillip Lee became the first minister to resign over Brexit (Image: SOPA Images / Contributor)

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3.45pm update: Sajid Jaid says “no, no, no” for a general election, second referendum or revoking Article 50 in Thatcher inspired speech

Sajid Javid has joined fellow leadership contenders Esther Mcvey and Dominic Raab in refusing to take no deal off the table if he was made Britain’s next Prime Minister.

The Home Secretary has ruled out offering a second referendum, a general election or revoking Article 50 in an attempt to stop “handing Jeremy Corbyn” the keys to Downing Street.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Javid says: “We must unite as a party to get a deal through in this Parliament. Some argue we should have a second referendum.

“Others, a general election. Some even suggest revoking Article 50. Well, in the words of a great British Prime Minister who knew how to get what she wanted from the European Commission: No, no, no.”

Mr Javid said he would “step up” no deal preparations but did argue that leaving the bloc without any agreement “wouldn’t be painless”. 

The Home Secretary said he would prefer to get a deal through parliament and doesn’t want a no deal Brexit, but admitted that we have to accept the “reality” of the situation.

But, Mr Javid is more worried that failure to deliver Brexit would distance voters from the Conservative Party and could hand a general election win to Labour.

Last week’s European elections saw the Tories suffer their worst nationwide election result since the party was founded as voters turned away from the mainstream parties to support Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Javid said: “Three years later – and after local, national and European elections in which too many good, honest Conservatives have been voted out of office – the British people’s frustration and the need to make good on the referendum result have never been greater.”

The article continued: “The voters have been asked their opinion more than enough times. Never in this country’s history have we asked people to go to the polls a second time without implementing their verdict from the first.

“Another vote before we leave would be disastrous for trust in politics, and cause the kind of chaos that risks handing Jeremy Corbyn and his hard-left supporters the keys to No 10.”

brexit news Sajid Javid

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said it no deal preperations would be “stepped up” (Image: NurPhoto / Contributor)

1.30pm update: David Davis supports Dominic Raab for leadership race and urges PM to release ‘no deal’ documents 

Former Brexit secretary David Davis has backed Dominic Raab for the leadership election while urging the Prime Minister to release all No deal preparation documents. 

The hard Brexiteer said he was backing Raab in a TV interview with Channel 4 News where he also suggested that it was key that no deal was put back on the table to act as a fallback option and aid negotiations. 

Mr Raab took over from Mr Davis as Brexit Secretary but resigned from the government in November 2018 after disagreeing with elements of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.

He voted to leave in the 2016 EU Referendum and has stated in TV interviews that he will not ask for any more extensions to bring some “finality” to Brexit.  He has said that he is prepared to walk away from negotiations but is still aiming for a “good deal”. 

Speaking to Channel 4 news, Mr Davis said: “Dominic doesn’t prefer a no deal Brexit, he wants a deal.

“But he recognises that he has to retain the option of no deal for both negotiating purposes and fallback purposes.

“And he and I and everybody else who served in DexEU and in the relevant department know that we can do a deal which does not involve a hard border.

The 2005 Conservative leadership candidate also suggested that the government should make its no deal preparation documents public to see what work has been done.

“It’s about time the Government put that work out in the public domain so we can all see it,” he said.

READ MORE: David Davis URGES May to release ALL no deal Brexit plans as he backs Raab for PM 

brexit news Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab served as Brexit Secretary until November 2018 (Image: NurPhoto / Contributor)

10am update: Donald Trump says he has had multiple Tory leadership contenders approach him for an endorsement

The President said: “Other people have asked me for an endorsement too. I have been asked for endorsements.

“Well I don’t want to say who but other people have asked me for endorsements, yes.”

The President also revealed his admiration for Jeremy Hunt after he revealed a plan to increase the UK defence spending to above the two percent minimum NATO target. 

Mr Trump said to The Sun: “I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s great for the UK, and it would be part of trade.”

But the President hit out at Environment Secretary Michael Gove after last week’s accusations that Mr Trump was “sabre rattling” over his aggressive policy towards Iran.

“Well, I’m just trying to help him and it’s not costing him anything,” said Trump. “I’m trying to make it so that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. Very simple. And I can’t think of anybody other than us that would benefit more than the UK, so he should be all for that.

“Nuclear weapons is the single biggest problem that the world has and we can’t allow them to proliferate. We just can’t allow it.”

In the interview with The Sun, Mr Trump also hit out against The Duchess of Sussex and Theresa May. While the American leader also claimed that he was “really loved” in the UK ahead of his arrival on Monday.

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