Tory leader LIVE: Boris Johnson's half a MILLION pound war chest to beat Hunt revealed

Posted on Jul 3 2019 - 9:50pm by admin

Meanwhile a Brexit no deal could be blocked by Chancellor Philip Hammond, who is plotting chaos from the backbenches if Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt attempt to quit the EU without a deal. Mr Johnson has registered £235,000 in the last two weeks, taking the total amount he has received in the last year to £502,000, according to new figures released by Parliament. The most recent donations include £50,000 from Peter Cruddas, one of the City of London’s most prominent Brexiteers, and £50,000 from James Reuben, a financier.

Brexit has so far dominated the Tory leadership deal, with rivals Boris Johnson  and Jeremy Hunt under pressure to deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum. And while Mr Johnson has vowed to leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, “come what may”, Mr Hunt has insisted he would back a no deal but it would be a “last resort”.

But Remain-backing Philip Hammond has strongly suggested he would block a no deal Brexit, even if it meant voting against the Tory whip. 

He previously said: “I have consistently clear that I believe a no-deal exit will be bad for the UK, bad for the British economy, bad for the British people.”

Although Mr Hammond has not ruled out running in a Boris-led cabinet, both Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt are expected to sack him. 

READ MORE: Brexit live 

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Boris Johnson enjoys a fundraising edge over Jeremy Hunt, figures have shown (Image: GETTY)

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Tory leader live: Philip Hammond is plotting to block no deal Brexit (Image: GETTY )

This would mean he is likely to be joined on the backbenches by Remain backers Rory Stewart, former Tory leadership candidate, David Guake and Greg Clark, who could mount a bid to block bo deal. 

They would also be joined by former ministers, Richard Harrington and Steve Brine, who resigned in recent months over their opposition to no deal Brexit. 

One Tory MP told the Guardian: ”There will clearly be more credible leadership on the backbenches against no deal. A lot of effort is going into this.”

Another said: “Hammond is clearly the most powerful person in government at the moment; he’s using the short time he has left and he’s putting structures in place in terms of what happens next.”

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Tory leadership live: Boris Johnson said EU bosses have ‘powerful incentive’ to get Brexit deal done (Image: GETTY )

9.05pm update: “Grotesque”: Conservative Peer savages Tory leadership contest

Speaking in the House of Lords as peers debated a Labour call for an inquiry into the costs of a no-deal Brexit, Lord Cormack said: “I am very depressed for our country as we approach October 31. Of course I hope fervently that a deal can be done.”

The Tory former MP said: “I am ashamed for my party because of the way we are conducting the leadership election.”

He argued it should have been decided by Tory MPs in the Commons so there would be a PM “working now”.

Lord Cormack said: “We are wasting time that we do not have to waste.

“I think it was grotesque that yesterday when we had more news of the gravest crisis in Hong Kong since the handover, our Foreign Secretary was in Northern Ireland with Mr Boris Johnson appealing for a party vote.”

9.02pm update: Tory peer savages leadership hopefuls: “Not the way to choose a Prime Minister”

A Tory peer has torn into the conduct of the Conservative leadership battle, branding it “grotesque” at a time when the UK “desperately” needs a government.

The race has led to “a distortion of priorities” as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt chase the votes of some 160,000 Tory members, said Conservative peer Lord Cormack.

He added that Theresa May was a “lame duck” Prime Minister and the Government was “in a state of suspended animation” while the contest was fought for the Tory crown and the keys to Downing Street.

Lord Cormack, a member of the Conservative Party for more than six decades, said it was “not the way to choose a Prime Minister”.

8.20pm update: Hunt accuses BBC of “caving in” to Johnson’s team

Mr Hunt has accused the broadcaster of “caving in” to pressure from Mr Johnson’s spin doctor, Sir Lynton Crosby.

BBC News director Fran Unsworth said: “Andrew Neil is one of the best political interviewers on television.

“He’ll be questioning the two candidates on behalf of audiences up and down the country, including the Conservative Party members who are voting for their next leader.

“Their decision will, of course, affect all of us, so we think it’s strongly in the public interest that we put the two candidates and their policy ambitions to the test.”

The interviews will be broadcast from 7pm on BBC One.

8.19pm update: Hunt and Johnson face grilling from Andrew Neil.

The Tory leadership contenders will both face a grilling from the BBC’s Andrew Neil.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will give half-an-hour interviews to the journalist in a programme to be broadcast on July 12.

The scrutiny will come after Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt repeatedly criticised the front-runner for only committing to one head-to-head debate in the final stages of the contest.

Mr Johnson had declined a Sky News showdown before agreeing to take part in one on July 9.

But Mr Hunt’s camp is concerned many members will already have voted by that date, constraining any impact the debate may have.

He has been highly critical of the BBC for offering to stage a debate late on in the contest.

6.11pm update: Johnson enjoys fundraising advantage over Hunt

Boris Johnson has increased his funding lead over Jeremy Hunt as they race to become the next Prime Minister, official figures showed today, and has so far raised the fourth-largest amount by any politician in Britain in recent years.

With Johnson and foreign minister Hunt stepping up their campaigns to replace Theresa May, both are seeking to raise money to pay for the cost of hiring venues, transport, staffing costs, leaflets and advertising.

Johnson has registered £235,000 in the last two weeks, taking the total amount he has received in the last year to £502,000, according to new figures released by Parliament.

The most recent donations include £50,000 from Peter Cruddas, one of the City of London’s most prominent Brexiteers, and £50,000 from James Reuben, a financier.

Peter Cruddas

Financier Peter Cruddas has donated £50,000 to Boris Johnson’s campaign (Image: GETTY)

5.32pm update: Spread-betting experts rate Johnson’s chances of striking Brexit deal at just 17 percent

Boris Johnson may have promised a Brexit deal by the October 31 deadline, while his party believe he is the best person to secure a Tory majority at the next election – but according to political spread betting experts StarSpreads.com, his prospects of achieving both look rather distant.

More than three weeks ago, StarSpreads became the first gambling firm to pay out early on Mr Johnson becoming PM. Now they have now taken a look at what comes next.

According to the latest spread betting markets, it is just a 17 percent likelihood that Mr Johnson will be able to bring the UK out of the EU by the Halloween deadline with a deal – despite his claim last week that a No-Deal Brexit is a “million-to-one against”.

StarSpreads.com also give Mr Johnson an 18 percent chance of winning an overall majority at the next general election, which they suggest he is likely have to call before the end of this year.

4.36pm update: “I didn’t sign up to this,” says Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has taken to Twitter after receiving a circular from Boris Johnson’s campaign – thanking him for volunteering to help!

The message states: “I am writing today because you have supported my campaigns in the past by signing up to receive campaign updates or by volunteering to help.”

Mr Hunt posted: “Well this is awkward… definitely didn’t sign up to this mailing list.”

4.30pm update: Hunt “confused” by Johnson’s “sin tax” pledge

Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt says he has been left “confused” by Boris Johnson’s pledge to halt “sin taxes on salty, sugary and fatty foods.

Mr Hunt said: “I’m totally confused about what Boris’s policy is on this because he’s saying he doesn’t want these ‘sin taxes’.

“But he’s got Matt Hancock, the health secretary, on his team who strongly supports them. So I think consistency really does matter.

“We have an obesity epidemic, we have the second highest number of obese young people anywhere in Europe and we do need to have a solution to this.

“So the people who want to scrap these taxes need to say what is their plan.”

Boris Johnson Jeremy Hunt Philip Hammond

Tory leadership: Philip Hammond is plotting chaos from the backbenches (Image: GETTY)

3.41pm update: “Technology alone can’t prevent hard border,” Wheeler tells candidates

No technology solution exists or can alone solve the issue of preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Britain leaves the EU, the British official who was in charge of Brexit border preparations has warned both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

Karen Wheeler, who left her role as Director General of Britain’s Cross Government Border Delivery Group last week, also said planning for a no-deal Brexit had felt like preparing for a crisis and even if the government was ready, it could not ensure the same for industry and businesses.

She said: “When government says it’s as ready as it can be, it is mostly saying we’ve done everything that we can,” she said.

“What it doesn’t mean is everything will be fine”.

2.38pm update: May urges successor to act in best interests of UK 

The PM said her successor should “act at all times in the best interests” of the UK.

Responding to Tory former minister Sir Edward Leigh, the Prime Minister said: “I have always believed that no-deal was better than a bad deal but I believed we negotiated a good deal.

“The advice I would give to my successor is to act at all times in the best interests of this country.

“I believe it’s in our best interests to be able to leave the European Union with a good deal but it is up to my successor to find a majority in this House to enable us to leave the European Union.”

1.37pm update: Boost for Hunt in Northern Ireland 

A straw vote of delegates at the Northern Ireland hustings found that Hunt performed better on stage, according to the News Letter. 

The newspaper in Northern Ireland said it questioned 64 people, with 27 backing Mr Hunt. 

1.19pm update: Boris comments on Brexit Party MEPs turning back during National Anthem 

He said the activities of the 29 Brexit Party MEPs, who turned their backs during the EU anthem Ode To Joy on the opening day of the new European Parliament session, showed the “radical change” in Strasbourg and underlined the need to “get this thing over the line”.

1.08pm update: Brussels has ‘powerful incentive’ to get Brexit done 

Boris Johnson said Brussels has an incentive to get a Brexit deal done with the UK as it prepares for a “mission of federalist integration” under the new European Commission president. 

The Tory leadership hopeful said he was looking forward to working with Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated by the leaders of the bloc’s member states to become the president.

The former foreign secretary played down the prospect of the UK Parliament blocking a no-deal Brexit if he was unable to secure the “great, great deal” he was expecting from Brussels.

Speaking during a campaign event in Berkshire, Mr Johnson said: “I have met Ursula, the new commission president, a couple of times and I very much look forward to working with her if I am lucky enough to get elected, but I have no doubt that all our European friends and partners now have a powerful incentive to get this thing over the line.

“They have got a radical change in the complexion of the European Parliament, 29 Brexit MEPs not exactly showing a great fervour for the mission of federalist integration that Ursula supports.

“It is time that the UK came out, I think they understand that, I think we are going to get a great, great deal, and we will work very, very hard with all of them.”

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Tory leadership live: Jeremy Hunt has been talking about his plans to deliver Brexit (Image: GETTY )

12.22pm update: Corbyn warns Boris and Hunt of no deal Brexit threat 

During this afternoon’s PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn warned May’s potential successors about the dangers of talking up a no-deal departure from the EU.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn told the Prime Minister to speak to Tory leadership hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt and remind them that thousands of jobs are “at risk” the more they “ratchet up” their no-deal Brexit rhetoric.

He also challenged Mrs May to explain what she would tell workers whose jobs are dependent on the Brexit outcome, to which she countered that the “vast majority” of Tory MPs voted to “protect their jobs” after backing her deal.

11.58am update: Boris Johnson ‘fit and svelte’ 

The Tory leadership frontrunner’s ally Matt Hancock hailed him as a shining example of getting “fit and svelte” without the need of the “nanny state”.

The Health Secretary told Sky News: “I strongly support having an evidence-based review into how these taxes are working.

“Of course there’s the tax, but there’s more ways we can make sure that we tackle obesity.

“And Boris himself is a great example of how we can all get fit and svelte without the need of the nanny state by getting on and doing more exercise and cycling to work.

“It’s a very good example.”

11.41am update: Boris defends ‘sin taxes’

Speaking during a campaign visit in Berkshire, he said it would be evidence based. 

He said: “Obesity is a huge public health challenge, probably now our number one public health challenge. It costs the NHS absolutely billions, we have got to deal with obesity but we have got to do it in a way that is evidence based and what I want to see is evidence, actually evidence that new taxes on this or that item of food, taxes which fall disproportionately on poorer families, actually stop people from being so fat.

“You have got to make sure that it is discouraging people from consuming what they are doing, or whether it is just a bit of a gesture.

“Now everybody struggles with their weight, me no less than anybody else, we all know what the issues are but my question is, is it really sensible to put a new tax on milkshakes which will be paid disproportionately by poorer families when the evidence seems to be at the moment ambiguous about whether those taxes actually reduce consumption and help people with their obesity, so that is the issue.”

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Tory leadership live: Boris Johnson has pledged to leave the EU without a deal (Image: EPA )

10.36am update: Hunt says ‘Brexit won’t happen on a wing and prayer’

Jeremy Hunt has been in Hampshire this morning telling residents his plans to deliver Brexit. 

He tweeted: “Brexit won’t happen on a wing and a prayer – so this election is about who has a real plan to deliver it”

9.57am update: Boris and Hunt attacked over leadership promises

Nick Boles, former Tory MP who quit the party, tweeted: “I love reading about all the things that Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt is going to do when PM. Almost all of it would require a majority of MPs to vote for it.

“Scrap sugar tax – no chance. Cut income tax for top earners – dream on.”

9.22am update: Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in plot for no deal Brexit

Peter Mandelson, who was a key member of the Labour government in the Blair years, claimed he has “heard” the Tory leadership hopeful and the Brexit Party leader are in talks about how they would work together to win a general election and deliver no deal.

Mr Mandelson said:”Labour’s shadow cabinet think they are being clever by being tactical. But they underestimate the risk Johnson poses if he calls…a patriotic election based on no deal, accompanied by a spending spree to see Britain through it.

“I hear Nigel Farage is already in close talks about how his Brexit Party can deliver its support for such a Johnson electoral plan.”

 

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Tory leadership live: Jeremy Hunt has said a no deal Brexit is a last resort (Image: GETTY )

8.53am update: Hammond no deal fear mongering exposed 

Philip Hammond said that leaving the European Union without a deal in place would hit nation’s coffers hard – far more than is set aside to cope with such an outcome.

But a senior cabinet source told the Daily Express yesterday that preparations for leaving the EU are more advanced than people think.

He said: “It’s not really a binary argument between deal or no deal.

“Even if we leave without a deal there will still be many agreements in place between the UK and the EU to make sure trade is done, aeroplanes fly and electricity is available.

“We will have had an extra six months since March 29 and although things have changed we are in a strong position. There will be no armageddon as some people in project fear are predicting.”

8.20am update: Boris vows to AXE sugar tax 

The Tory frontrunner has pledged to halt hikes on so-called sin taxes, which include levies on tobacco, alcohol and sugar.

The frontrunner in the race to become prime minister committed on Wednesday to review the effectiveness of such taxes and to ask whether they unfairly hit those on low incomes.

The Tory MP also vowed not to introduce new ones until the review has been completed, as he hailed Brexit as an opportunity to examine tax policy.

Mr Johnson’s campaign cited taxes on products high in salt, fat and sugar as examples.

His team did not immediately respond to requests as to whether the review would also inclu

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