Tory leader LIVE: Winner MUST set aside Brexit to focus on Iran, warns ex-naval chief

Posted on Jul 21 2019 - 6:52pm by admin

Meanwhile likely winner Boris Johnson is facing a Remainer rebellion, with Tory MPs warning they are prepared to bring down his Government if he pursues a no deal Brexit. The seizure of the UK-flagged Stena Impero by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz has dramatically upped the stakes in the Gulf. Writing in the Observer, Admiral West said: “This crisis has developed as the eyes of our political establishment have been focused on the election of a new prime minister.

“Whoever wins is going to have to face a major international crisis as soon as he is in post. It cannot be ignored because of Brexit.

Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt spoke with Tehran’s top diplomat in London, and later called Mohammad Javad Zarif, to voice his “extreme disappointment” over Iran’s actions.

The Sunday Express has today warned a hardcore of Remainer Tory MPs is on a collision course with Boris Johnson after a meeting in which they told him they would bring down his Government if he pursues a no deal.

One MP who was present said: “Boris looked like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, one who was just waking up to the full enormity of what it means to be Prime Minister and not being able to govern.”

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Boris Johnson Jeremy Hunt

Boris Johnson has been told he must focus on Iran – not Brexit (Image: GETTY)

3.50pm update: Tories threaten to join Lib Dems in plot to stop Boris Johnson’s no deal

Boris Johnson’s plans for a no deal Brexit could face another blow if he becomes Prime Minister as six Conservative MPs could defect to the Liberal Democrats.

If just two Tory MPs switch their alliance to the anti-Brexit Party, this would prevent the next Prime Minister, who will be named on Tuesday, getting a parliamentary majority.

Ed Davey, who was Lib Dem energy minister in the coalition cabinet with the Conservatives, has reportedly been approached by remainer Tories, according to The Sunday Times.

They will now hold talks this week in a bid to derail the next Tory leader, either through a vote of no confidence or Tory leaders defecting to another party.

3.45pm update: Boris Johnson set to reward Brexiteer Priti Patel with top Government job

Boris Johnson is set to hand longterm ally and Brexiteer, Priti Patel, a sensational return to the Cabinet, if he wins the Tory leadership contest on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson is understood to be considering Ms Patel to replace former leadership rival Sajid Javid as Home Secretary, The Independent reports.

Ms Patel previously served on Theresa May’s frontbench as International Development Secretary.

The MP for Witham in Essex was forced to resign from her position in 2017, after it emerged she had unofficial meetings with Israeli ministers, businesspeople and a senior lobbyist without the Prime Minster’s knowledge. Ms Patel admitted her actions “fell below the high standards that are expected of a secretary of state”.

1.20pm update: Boles praises Hammond for “principles” as he takes a swipe at “others”

Independent MP Nick Boles, who left the Conservatives this year because the party was “incapable of compromise” on Brexit, has praised Philip Hammond’s decision to resign as Chancellor rather than serve under Boris Johnson.

Mr Boles tweeted: “Philip Hammond has discovered his irreducible core, the point past which he cannot be pushed,.

“If only others had the same commitment to their principles.”

1pm update: Duncan Smith “has not asked Johnson for senior role”

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said he has not asked for a senior role in the next Government if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister.

Mr Duncan Smith told Andrew Marr he is “quite relaxed” if he does not get one.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “I have finished my role right now, which was to help him get elected, it’s up to him what he does.

“I have had no discussions with him.

“I honestly have bid for nothing, I asked for nothing, and if I get absolutely nothing, you will see a happy man sitting here if you want to interview me again.

“I’m quite relaxed about that, I promise you.

12.20pm update: Coveney issues no deal warning to new Tory leader

Irish deputy Prime Minister has said issued a warning to the new Tory leader over the risks of a no deal Brexit, saying if it becomes a reality it would purely be a “British choice”.

Mr Coveney told BBC’s Andrew Marr no deal would only happen if the House of Commons facilitated it, adding: “If the House of Commons chooses to facilitate a no-deal Brexit and if a new prime minister chooses to take Britain in that direction then it will happen but this is a British choice, not an Irish choice, not an EU choice, this is a British choice.

“We all want to avoid a no-deal Brexit we want to try to resolve these issues but we won’t do it on the basis of being told what will happen.”

Mr Coveney reiterated that checks would have to be carried out on the island of Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but he said those checks would not be at the border.

12.02pm update: “Don’t vote against new PM – resign,” Duncan-Smith tells Tory rebels

Former Tory leader and Boris Johnson backer Iain Duncan Smith has said rebel Tory MPs in the Government should resign instead of voting against the party over Brexit.

He told Marr rebelling is “legitimate”, but that it is “very honourable” to resign if they can no longer agree with the Government.

He said: “I have always had a very simple view. I didn’t agree with Government policy back a few years ago over the cuts to the welfare system and I resigned before even attempting to rebel.”

He added: “If you are in Government, you back the Government, and if the Government has a whip on, you must vote with the whip.

“If you don’t, well, it is quite legitimate and very honourable to resign and say ‘I can no longer agree with the Government’.”

11.53am update: European officials in secret Boris talks – ‘Re-thinking their position’

Brussels is ready to crumble amid the prospect of a no deal Brexit after senior European officials have engaged in secret talks with leading figures in Boris Johnson’s team in order to strike a new deal.

Brexiteers within Mr Johnson’s camp including Geoffrey Cox, James Brokenshire and Andrea Leadsom have all met with senior officials from the bloc’s major players, The Sunday Times reports.

Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have all signalled their intention to do a deal and break the Brexit impasse before the looming October 31 deadline.

Dublin has so far refused to move on its ‘red-lines’, but a source close to Mr Johnson’s team said Ireland is “re-thinking their position”.

11.36pm update: “Johnson must peddle Brexit optisim faster than a Tour de France cyclist,” says Rees Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg has confidently predicted Boris Johnson will be crowned Tory leader on Tuesday – and said must peddle Brexit optimism relentlessly when he is.

Writing in the Sun, Mr Rees-Mogg – chairman of the European Research Group – said: “Boris has to negotiate a deal by really meaning No Deal.

“He must engage with the world and cope with a housing crisis, an unfair social care muddle and rising crime.

“To do this he must peddle optimism as if he were a steroid-boosted cyclist trying to win the Tour de France.”

11.28am update: “I’m not going to be sacked”, says Hammond

Asked on the BBC One’s Andrew Marr show if he thought he would be sacked, Mr Hammond said: “No, I’m sure I’m not going to be sacked because I’m going to resign before we get to that point.

“Assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on the 31st October, and it’s not something that I could ever sign up to.

“It’s very important that the prime minister is able to have a chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy, and I therefore intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the Palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.”

11.14am update: Chancellor vows to resign if Johnson becomes Prime Minister

Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed he will resign if Boris Johnson is the new incumbent of Number 10.

Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he would tell Theresa May of his decision on Wednesday.

He said he would quit after PMQs but before Mrs May officially steps down.

Mr Hammond, who has vowed to “do everything in my power” to block a no deal Brexit, said it was important the next PM was “closely aligned” with his Chancellor on Brexit.

11.09am update: ‘Johnson will bring his own furniture’

The source added: “If he is successful in the race, he will bring his own furniture,” they said.

“He has not requested any furniture.”

Mr Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds, 31, is expected to move into Number 10 with him if he becomes PM.

The Sun quoted a friend telling the paper on Saturday: “They’ve been living together a while and have agreed it will carry on if he wins on Tuesday.”

They would be the first unmarried couple to officially live in Number 10.

11.08am update: Johnson asked what furniture he needs in Number 10

Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson has been asked what furniture he would need inside Number 10 if he moves in this week, it is understood.

The former foreign secretary is said to have been approached by Downing Street officials asking what he will want in place should he become prime minister on Wednesday, as is widely expected.

A source said Mr Johnson has not replied to the request, despite reports that he is to receive free furniture after allegedly telling civil servants he “didn’t have any stuff”.

Theresa May is thought to have largely furnished the flat with her own possessions, which will be moved out when she leaves office.

Mr Johnson was given a choice as to whether he wanted to move his own furniture into Number 10, use items from ministerial flats in Admiralty House, or have new furniture bought.

The source said the reports in the Mail on Sunday were “nonsense” and that he would be taking his own items.

11am update: Gauke “will quit” on Wednesday if Johnson is elected

Justice Secretary David Gauke will quit the Government on Wednesday if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister.

Mr Gauke, who has served in Theresa May’s Cabinet since she took office in June 2016, said he would not be able to serve under the former foreign secretary if he pursues a no-deal Brexit.

As the Tory leadership contest enters its final 48 hours, the prominent no-deal critic told the Sunday Times that crashing out of the European Union would lead to national “humiliation”.

And Mr Gauke said: “Given that I’ve been in the Cabinet since Theresa May came to power, I think the appropriate thing is for me to resign to her.”

Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd is urging Remainers to back the new Tory leader (Image: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

10.50am update: Amber Rudd warns Tory Remainer rebels

Remainers have been urged by former Home Secretary Amber Rudd to get behind Boris Johnson if he is confirmed as Tory Party leader on Tuesday to prevent Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “seizing power”.

Her comments come after the Sunday Express revealed a group of Remainer Tory MPs have warned Mr Johnson they were prepared to down his Government if he continues to pursue a no deal Brexit.

Ms Rudd, formerly a vocal critic of the ex-London Mayor, who was at one point being touted as a possible leadership contender herself, delivered a pointed message to anyone pondering the idea of opposing Mr Johnson in a future no-confidence vote.

Her message, delivered in a column in the Sunday Telegraph, is likely to be aimed, in part at least, at Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has indicated he will do “everything in my power” to stop a future prime minister suspending Parliament to force through no deal.

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