At a visit today to the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley in Surrey, Brexiteer Mr Johnson was greeted by supporters. One woman told him: “We thought you were the best from the word go,” before adding jokingly: “Just don’t have any more rows.” Mr Johnson replied: “No more rows. No, no, no. All quiet, all quiet.”
Mr Johnson said in a late-night interview yesterday it was “simply unfair” to “drag” his “loved ones” into the political arena.
He was talking to Laura Kuenssberg in a BBC interview last night.
Media-shy Mr Johnson had been due to take part in a planned Sky News debate with his rival Jeremy Hunt, however declined the invitation.
READ MORE: BREXIT LIVE: EU losing patience with Ireland – Angry Brussels demands backstop answers
Boris Johnson has promised ‘no more rows’
Mr Hunt accused the former London Mayor of playing games and stated the move to “duck” the head-to-head is “deeply disrespectful to our members”.
The broadcaster has now invited both men to take part in a debate on July 1.
Follow Express.co.uk for live Tory leadership updates below:
5.35pm update: Raab defends Boris Johnson and says he has ‘stepped up’ PM campaign
Dominic Raab said Boris Johnson has “stepped up” his public-facing leadership campaign amid the criticism around his apparent refusal to face scrutiny.
“He’s certainly stepped it up,” Mr Raab told the Press Association.
“I don’t think he’s shrugged any of the difficult questions.”
Mr Raab pointed to Mr Johnson’s recent interviews with the BBC and LBC radio, adding: “I think the more people see of him, the more his momentum builds, but of course people will try and fire whatever they can at the frontrunner.”
5.20pm update: Boris demands Hunt confirms he will commit to halloween Brexit date as PM
Boris Johnson hit back at competitor Jeremy Hunt on Twitter and asked the Foreign Secretary to “keep our promises to the British people and deliver Brexit”.
Jeremy Hunt refused to answer, instead calling a letter to him shared on social media by Mr Johnson “snail-mail”.
Mr Johnson said: “If I become PM, we will leave the EU on 31st October, deal or no deal. Today I have asked @Jeremy_Hunt whether he will also commit to this date, no matter what. We must keep our promises to the British people and deliver Brexit – no ifs, no buts, and no second referendum.”
Mr Hunt has been condemned for “ridiculous name calling” by Tory party Brexiteers in support of Mr Johnson.
He started the hashtag BojoNoShow after Mr Johnson pulled out of a Sky News debate this evening.
Supporters of Mr Johnson blasted Mr Hunt on Twitter.
One said: “Boris spent yesterday on the phone to 100’s of party members and Tory councillors talking to them through a phone hustings! Would rather he do that that go on a stupid debate programme that only has one thing on their agenda and thats to discredit him!!”
Another added: “Boris knows that Sky along with the BBC and Channel 4 are not interested in being impartial. The public don’t have a vote and most of the biased media are treating this like a circus.”
“How childish of you to use that hashtag .. you’re literally embarrassing the Conservative party.”
How childish of you to use that hashtag .. you’re literally embarrassing the Conservative party
I don’t blame Boris avoiding a stitch up from Kay burley like he got from Emily Mattis
— Adam Brooks (@EssexPR) June 25, 2019
4.20pm update: Finance expert dismantles Remainer no deal Brexit claims in latests show of support for Boris
Financial expert Paul Gambles said a no deal Brexit has been unfairly portrayed as he revealed it would make very little difference on the economy in the short term.
Mr Gambles of MBMG group announced a no deal Brexit was not nearly as big a “drama” as it had been painted as there was little short term economic difference between any of the Brexit outcomes.
He said a second referendum would prove to be the worst option for the country and would do nothing to heal the divide across the nation.
He told CNBC: “One thing we have to remember is that fundamentally whatever happens with Brexit makes very little difference to the economy.
“No deal is actually nothing like the drama it is being painted as. There is very little short term difference by any of the outcomes. What does create a problem is not having any outcome at all.
“The two or three years of infighting and immolation and everything that has gone on is painful, that really hurts the economy.”
3.40pm update: Boris savages ‘pathetic defeatism’ from Theresa May who created ‘our own prison’
Boris Johnson snapped during an interview and criticised the “unbelievably pathetic” defeatist attitude surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union as he insisted there would be no Brexit extension.
Mr Johnson appeared to lose his patience during an interview with TalkRadio’s Ross Kempsell as he announced that, with him as Prime Minister, he would not be asking for an extension to the Brexit date.
He added that he had multiple plans to secure a Brexit deal with the EU and a contingency plan if that wasn’t possible by October 31.
The Tory leadership favourite said: “We have been sitting around wrapped in defeatism telling the British public we can’t do this or that, it is pathetic.”
If I become PM, we will leave the EU on 31st October, deal or no deal. Today I have asked @Jeremy_Hunt whether he will also commit to this date, no matter what. We must keep our promises to the British people and deliver Brexit – no ifs, no buts, and no second referendum. pic.twitter.com/YgRSfESSFY
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 25, 2019
2.45pm update: Boris makes key appointment to campaign team
Boris Johnson has appointed former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith as his new campaign chairman.
Mr Duncan Smith will be working closely with James Wharton, who ran the campaign to win votes among Tory MPs, and political strategist Mark Fullbrook.
1.45pm update: Britain’s car industry warns against ’seismic’ no deal Brexit
Britain’s car industry warned the next prime minister on Tuesday against a “seismic” no-deal Brexit in October, which it said could add billions of pounds in tariffs and cause border disruption, crippling the sector.
Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned about the scale of disruption a disorderly exit would cause.
The SMMT said: “Leaving the EU without a deal would trigger the most seismic shift in trading conditions ever experienced by automotive, with billions of pounds of tariffs threatening to impact consumer choice and affordability.
The British automotive industry fears that a disorderly exit from the EU, its biggest export market, could see the imposition of tariffs of up to 10percent on finished models and border delays which could snarl up ports and motorways, ruining just-in-time production.
The SMMT added a hard Brexit border could cost £50,000 ($ 64,000) aminute in border delays.
Tory Leader Live: Boris Johnson said it was ‘simply unfair’ to ‘drag’ his family involved
12.55pm update: Hunt taunts Boris for pulling out of debate – ‘BoJoNoShow’
Jeremy Hunt has slammed Boris Johnson for declining the invitation to appear on a debate on Sky News tonight.
The Foreign Secretary has taken to social media and goaded Mr Johnson for his no-show and is planning to hold a Q&A with voters using the #BoJoNoShow
Mr Hunt wrote on Twitter: “Tonight I was meant to be debating Boris Johnson on Sky, answering questions about our plans for Britain. Sadly, Boris has pulled out – which I don’t believe is fair on you, the public.
“So, from 8pm, I will be answering as many of your questions as poss – tweet me using #BoJoNoShow.”
12.45pm update: Boris blasts Government’s attitude towards Brexit – ‘Absolutely pathetic!
Boris Johnson has called for an end to the defeatist attitude and called for positive energy towards Brexit.
The former Mayor of London has labelled Government’s handling of Britain’s exit from the EU over the past three years as “absolutely pathetic”.
Mr Johnson told talkRadio: “I think a bit of positive energy would help, frankly. I’ve never seen such morosity and gloom from a government.
“For three years we’ve been sitting around wrapped in defeatism telling the British public that they can’t do this or that. It is pathetic, it’s absolutely pathetic.”
12.37pm update: New Tory leader to be announced on July 23
The winner of the Tory leadership contest between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will be announced on July 23, the Conservative party has confirmed.
Jeremy Hunt is planning on holding a Q&A with voters tonight
12.35pm update: Boris rules out Article 50 extension
Boris Johnson has ruled out extending Article 50 beyond October 31 if he wins the race for Number 10.
When asked if he could categorically rule out an extension, he told talkRadio it is written in law that the UK leaves the EU.
Mr Johnson said: “Yes, let me tell you why. Okay. Because it would be up to the Prime Minister of the day.
“I have myself, to decide under the current terms of the extension that we have, to apply for such an extension. Okay. And it is up to the EU to decide whether to grant it.
“At the moment, the law says that the UK is leaving the EU – international treaty law -says the UK is leaving the EU on the 31st of October.”
12.20pm update: Boris ready to leave EU on October 31 – ‘Do or die. Come what may’
Boris Johnson has given assurances he will take Britain out of the European Union on October 31 if he is to become Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson insisted he would press ahead with no deal planning and would increase spending on schools, infrastructure and police.
Mr Johnson told talkRadio: “We are getting ready to come out on October the 31st. Come what may.
talkRADIO’s political editor Ross Kempsell then said: “Do or die?”
Mr Johnson then replied: “Do or die. Come what may.”
12.12pm update: Minister hope Hunt beats Boris ‘for the good of the country’
Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan has pledged his support for Jeremy Hunt in the Tory leadership race.
Mr Duncan said at the dispatch box he hoped the Foreign Secretary become Prime Minister “for the good of the country”.
12.05pm update: Study finds Boris’ tax cuts to cost £9bn
Boris Johnson’s plans to cut income tax for those earning up to £80,000 would cost around £9billion and benefit the top 10 percent of earners the institute for Fiscal Studies has found.
The think-tank said it was “not clear” that spending so much on tax cuts would be compatible with both ending austerity in public spending and the “prudent management of the public finances”.
The proposal would increase the threshold for workers paying 40 percent tax from its current level of £50,000 to £80,000.
The IFS analysis suggested that around 3.2 million workers would gain along with 400,000 pensioners.
IFS research economist Tom Waters, one of the authors of the analysis, said:”These are expensive pledges to cut tax.
“Raising the higher rate threshold as far as £80,000 would be a radical change benefiting high-income households only, though it is important to be aware that the numbers paying higher rate tax have crept up over time, largely unannounced.
“There are now more than four million higher-rate taxpayers compared with 1.5 million 30 years ago.”
He added: “Raising the floor for NICs helps low earners, though raising tax credits would be much more effective and better targeted if that were the key aim.
“These pledges between them will cost many billions of pounds.
“It is not clear that spending such sums on tax cuts is compatible with both ending austerity in public spending and prudent management of the public finances.”
Boris Johnson’s tax plans could cost £9bn according to an economic think tank
11.20am update: Boris reveals how he will deal with Remainer rebels plotting to destroy Brexit
Boris Johnson has revealed exactly how he will deal with Tory rebels in Parliament who are out to thwart Brexit, claiming he believes all MPs will back the Brexit deal he brings back to Parliament for several crucial reasons.
Speaking on LBC, Mr Johnson insisted MPs will back his Brexit deal because the Conservative Party is “staring down the barrel of defeat”.
LBC caller Chris in Glasgow asked the former Foreign Secretary: “How, as potential PM, do you plan to contend with backbencher rebels in your own party such as Dominic Grieve, Oliver Lewin and Tobias Ellwood who are rumoured – perhaps you can even say determined – to bring down your government or at least tie your negotiating hands as soon as you walk through the door of Number 10.”
Mr Johnson said: “Politics has totally changed, Nick, since 29 March.
“We are staring down the barrel of defeat.
“And look at what happened in the European elections, the council elections, my party, the Conservative Party was on nine percent in the European elections.
“Every Tory MP understands that. And it is not as though Labour is doing that much better. They have got the Liberal Democrats ahead of them. They are only about 19 percent. Jeremy Corbyn with superhuman incompetence managed to go backwards in the recent council elections.”
READ MORE: Boris Johnson reveals how he will deal with Remainer rebels plotting to destroy Brexit
11.00am update: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds photo: The real story behind ‘staged’ garden snap
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have come under-fire for the pair’s love-up photograph with critics claiming the image beamed across the world was staged.
Yesterday a photograph of the Tory frontrunner and his 31-year-old partner emerged, showing the couple holding hands around a secluded garden table – just days after a reported row.
The timely snap of the pair came to light less than 72 hours after neighbours called the police on Friday evening, after Miss Symonds was allegedly heard screaming and shouting “get off me”.
Officers attended the address in London and found no offence had occurred.
The Telegraph reports the photograph is believed to have been taken on a cameraphone by one of Miss Symonds female friends.
It is thought the location was away from either of their residences in the Capital and at another close associates’ home in Sussex.
Following the publication of the photograph, more suspicions were raised after no photographers of agencies claimed the copyright.
An unnamed photographer said: “The whole thing is so obviously staged. It’s real amateur hour stuff. If you wanted to do it properly you’d have used a long lens and have people in the way to make it look more authentic.
“And if it had been taken by a real photographer, of course they would have charged for it. In fact even members of the public know the papers pay for pictures these days.“The fact that it was put out without anyone’s name on it, for nothing, tells you it was an inside job.”
READ MORE: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds photo: The real story behind ‘staged’ garden snap
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds pictured in a secluded garden
10.30am update: Corbyn slams Hunt and Johnson’s Brexit plan -‘No grip on reality’
Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s plans to sort out Brexit, insisting they have “no grip on reality”.
The Labour leader tore in to the two MPs hoping to succeed Theresa May as Conservative Party leader, while also warning they have no mandate to “force a disastrous hard-right Brexit” on the country.
Mr Corbyn, responding to an update from Mrs May on the latest European Council meeting, claimed the Government has “wasted” the three years since the 2016 EU referendum before asking: “Does the Prime Minister now regret that instead of warning of its disastrous implications, she continued to legitimise the idea of no-deal?
“The two Tory leadership candidates are still saying that if they can’t renegotiate the backstop, which the EU leaders said was not possible last week, then they would pursue a no-deal exit.
“Will the Prime Minister tell us whether she believes no-deal should be on the table as a viable option and, in her view, what would be worse, crashing out with no deal in October, or putting this issue back to the people for a final say?”
He said neither Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt nor Mr Johnson have a “credible” Brexit plan, adding: “It is deeply worrying that those who seek to lead this country have no grip on reality.”
Mr Corbyn also said: “Whoever the next prime minister is, they will barely hold the support of this House, so they certainly have no mandate to force a disastrous hard-right Brexit on this country.”
Tory Leader Live: Boris Johnson appearing on LBC this morning
10.10am update: Boris warns Tories will ‘continue to haemorrhage voters’ if Brexit not delivered
Boris Johnson has warned the Tories would “continue to haemorrhage voters” if the UK did not leave the EU.
He claimed that “politics has totally changed” since March 29 and “we are staring down the barrel of defeat”.
He told LBC: “People are looking at this thing and thinking ‘Parliament is just not going to do this’.
“But, actually, I think they are.”
9.47am update: Boris defends Sky News debate snub
Boris Johnson has defended his decision not to appear on a Sky News debate with Jeremy Hunt this evening.
Mr Johnson said: “I’m doing 16 hustings, I’ve already done several. I’m doing several TV debates – we’re doing something for ITV. All of which we’re looking forward to massively.”
9.40am update: Boris denies photograph was staged
Boris Johnson has denied the photograph of himself and his partner Carrie Symonds was staged.
Mr Johnson also refused to comment on when the image was taken, as Nick Ferrari questioned his haircut in the photograph.
Mr Johnson said: “There are all sorts of pictures of me that pop up from time to time. It is entirely up to newspapers to decide what they want to print.”
Asked where the photograph had come from, Mr Johnson said: “The longer we spend on things extraneous to what I want to do … the bigger the waste of time.”
9.35am update: Boris says his private life ‘may be of interest’
Boris Johnson has acknowledged matters in his private life “may be of interest” following a grilling from Nick Ferrari on LBC.
Mr Johnson said: “I readily accept that. Of course media outlets are going to print and speculate what they choose.
“The difficulty is that the minute you say one thing you bring your loved ones into the public domain.”
9.20am update: Barclay gives Boris and Hunt a reality check on Brexit – ‘Extremely difficult challenge’
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has given both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt a reality check and insisted they are in for a surprise if they think Brexit can be solved overnight.
Mr Barclay stated the next leader faces an “extremely difficult challenge” in order to build a consensus in the House of Commons.
The Brexit Secretary also defended Theresa May’s handling of Britain’s stating “no one could have worked harder on securing the deal”.
He told Politico: “I think whoever takes over will quickly see that the numbers in parliament are unchanged and that it is in a parliament that is split and in a country that is split it is an extremely difficult challenge.
“I still think she was right to seek to compromise and to try and build consensus, I think the difficulty we have had and that the prime minister has had is that the EU and particularly the Irish government to date have been unwilling to move in terms of the indefinite nature of the backstop.”
9.05am update: Boris to give interview on LBC at 9.30am
Boris Johnson will appear on Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio breakfast show at 9.30am.
This will be Mr Johnson’s second media engagement since he made it through to the head-to-head showdown with Jeremy Hunt.
The former foreign secretary will then set off across the south-east of England to meet Tory members.
9.00am update: Hunt to be grilled on spending plans by Laura Kuenssberg
Jeremy Hunt’s spending plans will be scrutinised by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tonight at 10pm.
Mr Hunt has pledged to spend an extra £15 billion on defence if he is made Prime Minister.
8.50am update: Hunt promises to spend extra £15 billion on defence
Jeremy Hunt has pledged to spend an extra £15 billion on defence if he is made prime minister to help combat “new threats to western values”.
The Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership hopeful said he would increase funding for the armed forces by 25 percent over five years to show Britain is “determined to remain a first-rank military power”.
The boost would see defence spending rise from 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 2.5 percent.
Mr Hunt said in a statement to Politics Home: “I was the person who secured a historic funding boost for the NHS and as prime minister I’ll do the same for defence.
“Increasing defence spending by 25% over five years will show the world a self-confident country ready to defend its interests and values as we embark on an exciting post-Brexit future.
“Everyone knows Britain is a world-leading soft power, but to be credible we need to show that we are determined to remain a first-rank military power.
“My plan for defence will give our brave troops the backing they need and show the world that when it comes to the new threats to Western values, Britain is back and Britain’s voice will be strong.”
Tory Leader Live: Jeremy Hunt had criticised Mr Johnson for pulling out of Sky News debate
8.30am update: Rudd urges Boris to outline Brexit plan – ‘Optimism is not sufficient!’
Amber Rudd has called on Boris Johnson to spell out the details of his Brexit plan and warned of a Tory plot to bring down the Government.
The Work and Pensions Secretary who is backing Jeremy Hunt in the leadership race stated Mr Johnson’s “enthusiasm and optimism is not sufficient”.
Ms Rudd told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is an incredibly difficult situation and Boris needs to explain how he will deal with both sides of the Conservative Party that have concerns and try and break the impasse with the European Union.”
Responding to claims that a dozen Tory MPs would be prepared to bring down a government heading to a no-deal Brexit, she added: “I think that’s about right. I think it’s slightly less than that but it’s certainly more than two.”
Tory Leader Live: Amber Rudd has called on Boris Johnson to outline his Brexit plan
8.20am update: Khan criticised over police comments – ‘childish!’
Sadiq Khan has been criticised for urging people to call police if they are worried about neighbours following yesterday’s tweet – in an apparent attack on Boris Johnson.
One Twitter user said: “How childish that you’re always trying to point score!! Absolutely ridiculous!!!”
Another user said: “Important message with a subtle addition of political gamesmanship and a self important tweet.”
While a third said: “Using this as a backhanded jab at Boris is shameful….we all see you Sadiq.”
On Friday evening, Mr Johnson was involved in an incident and concerned neighbours called the police after his partner Carrie Symonds was allegedly heard screaming and shouting “get off me”.
Officers attended the address in London and found no offence had occurred.
8.10am update: Johnson defends his right to a private life
Boris Johnson told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg last night: “I would love to tell you about all sorts of things, Laura, but I’ve made it a rule over many, many years – and I think you’ve interviewed me loads of times – I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones.
“And there’s a very good reason for that. That is that, if you do, you drag them into things that… in a way that is not fair on them.”