Tory leadership LIVE: Boris tops poll in five areas as UK says he’s best for Brexit

Posted on Jul 15 2019 - 1:48pm by admin

Boris Johnson is said to be growing wary of ministers who have now done a u-turn and backed no deal in order to get into his top team. Mr Johnson will be finalising decisions for his Cabinet should he win the leadership race, with the result just 10 days away. Some of his advisors are reportedly urging him to choose those who are fully committed to Brexit. 

One senior ally told The Sun: “He knows his top priority is to deliver Brexit by October 31 or the wheels will come off the bus.

“Over the next few days he needs to pick ministers who are united in their desire to get us over the line come what may.

“Fail and we’re stuck in the road – and Boris is finished.” 

Some of Mr Johnson’s allies are said to be suspicious of Amber Rudd suddenly dropping her opposition to a no-deal Brexit, as it could just be a move to save her career.

Tory leader LIVE: Boris Johnson is said to be plotting a Cabinet wipeout to get Brexit delivered if he is PM

Tory leader LIVE: Boris Johnson has topped a number of Express.co.uk polls (Image: GETTY)

Other Tories facing uncertainty are Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit critics David Gauke, Greg Clark and Rory Stewart. 

Mr Johnson’s leadership rival Jeremy Hunt could also be facing a demotion, as he wants a fully committed Brexiteer in the Foreign Office. 

The source said: “Boris has made it clear he wants a Cabinet that is 100 percent behind leaving the EU on October 31, with or without a deal.”

Follow our live updates here:

11pm update: Darroch only has himself to blame, says MP

US ambassador Kim Darroch only has himself to blame for the controversy over his leaked emails which prompted his resignation – because he gave the wrong advice, an MP has said.

Eurosceptic  Daniel Kawczynski, who represents Shrewsbury and Atcham, said Mr Trump had managed to boost the US economy significantly, added it was now “absolutely crucial” to appoint the right replacement to liaise with Washington as Britain eyes a bumper trade deal with the US after Brexit.

Mr Darroch stepped down after confidential cables in which he branded the Trump administration “inept” and “dysfunctional” were leaked to the media.

However, Mr Kawczynski said: “If I was him, if I had any doubts about the US Government I would be discussing them at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not putting them in cables.”

4.06pm update: David Blunkett predicts Autumn General Election

The former Labour Home Secretary has warned the political tide could soon turn once the UK has a new Prime Minister.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “It is my contention that there will be a General Election in the autumn, that it will be much earlier than most pundits might predict and it will come with a twist that no one has seriously canvassed so far: a major realignment of parties and voting patterns that could change politics for the foreseeable future.

“As things stand, there are very few ways out of this mess. The parliamentary arithmetic means that there can be no majority of MPs for a No Deal Brexit, no matter who is Prime Minister. 

“Meanwhile, we are fast running out of time to reach agreement with the EU. With most of officialdom in London and Brussels on holiday, it almost unthinkable that any deal could emerge in August when the new leader starts work.

“True, Boris Johnson – the most likely winner of the Conservative leadership race – has not ruled out proroguing Parliament, which would mean setting aside the operation of the Commons and bypassing elected MPs in order to drive through a No Deal Brexit.”

3pm update: Welsh MP Guto Bebb to stand down at election over concerns about the Tory party

Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb believes the Conservative Party is “appealing to the type of nationalism that has seen UKIP grow in the past, and the Brexit Party now”.

He also thinks Boris Johnson would be a “disastrous” prime minister.

Mr Bebb believes there will be another general election by spring, as the next prime minister will not be able to secure a Commons majority in favour of a no-deal Brexit.

He added he would not re-join Plaid Cymru.  

He told BBC Radio Cymru: “I don’t think Plaid Cymru has changed that much.

“I don’t believe in some of their economic principles. I consider myself Welsh, I can be completely comfortable with being part of an Union in Britain and the European Union.

“What’s not possible for someone like me is to believe in the type of English nationalism that we are now seeing within the Conservative Party.

“I don’t believe in nationalism at its worst in any context and certainly the nationalism I see in the Conservative Party currently concerns me.”

Will Jeremy Hunt be axed as Foreign Secretary if Boris becomes PM?

Will Jeremy Hunt be axed as Foreign Secretary if Boris becomes PM? (Image: GETTY)

2.36pm update: Jeremy Hunt claims Brexit could be stopped if ‘wrong’ Tory leader chosen

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph Mr Hunt appeared to suggest Brexit might not happen if Mr Johnson wins.

Addressing Conservative members he said: “Your decision at the ballot box has rarely mattered more.

“Get this wrong and we risk no Brexit, no Conservative Government and maybe even no Conservative Party.

“Poll after poll shows I am best placed to best Corbyn’s Labour because I appeal to people who might vote Conservative not just those who already do.”

2.04pm update: Boris Johnson tops Tory leadership poll in five areas as UK says he’s best for Brexit

Asked to choose between Mr Johnson, his rival for the Tory leadership Jeremy Hunt, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, respondents backed Mr Johnson in five out of seven categories.

But Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt, who today will unveil Brexit plans for his first 100 days as prime minister, has come out as best placed to represent Britain on the world stage.

According to the polling of 2,025 adults for the Sunday Express by ComRes, Mr Johnson topped the poll with 35 per cent as best placed to unite the country once “do not knows” were taken out. 

The frontrunner to take over from Theresa May also topped the poll as best prime minister with 32 per cent, best to lead the UK out of the Brexit crisis 30 per cent, best to negotiate a good deal with Brussels 29 per cent, and most likely to restore Britain’s self-confidence with 36 per cent. 

Mr Hunt was just one point behind Mr Johnson as best prime minister on 31 per cent and top for best political leader to represent Britain on the world stage as prime minister. 

The boost to his campaign fed in to Mr Hunt’s plans for the prime minister to become the Brexit Secretary in taking charge of getting Britain out of the EU. 

Mr Hunt will also publish and start implementing no-deal planning for October 31 within the first 48 hours of taking office. 

He said: “The EU will only know we’re serious if it is the prime minister gripping the details and leading the negotiations. While I am negotiating with the EU, Whitehall efforts for no-deal will be turbocharged.”

12.58pm update: Tory MPs plot to end Boris premiership on the day he becomes PM

According to the Mail on Sunday, two Conservative MPs are plotting to defect to the Liberal Democrats if Mr Johnson wins, immediately wiping out his Parliamentary majority.

The paper reports Tory whips have been told the two will do so if Jo Swinson becomes the next Liberal Democrat leader.

Ms Swinson may assume the position on July 24, if she defeats party rival Sir Ed Davey.

This is just one day before Mr Johnson could be installed as Prime Minister.

According to reports the defection would be timed to coincide with Mr Johnson entering 10 Downing Street to maximise impact

Boris Johnson drove a forklift before his hustings in Colchester yesterday

Boris Johnson drove a forklift before his hustings in Colchester yesterday (Image: GETTY)

11.51am update: Gina Miller tells legal team to warn Boris Johnson that proroguing Parliament is unconstitutional

The businesswoman has taken action over Boris Johnson’s refusal to rule out proroguing Parliament to achieve Brexit on October 31.

She said: “It should be deeply worrying to every UK citizen that, at this critical moment in the political and economic life of our nation, Boris Johnson, likely to be our Prime Minister in less than two weeks’ time, appears willing to abandon our parliamentary sovereignty by refusing to rule out proroguing Parliament to get a No Deal Brexit passed.

“Such contempt for parliamentary sovereignty, a key pillar of our constitution and democratic traditions, would effectively reduce us to a dictatorship.

“It is ironic that Mr Johnson so proudly parades his credentials as a champion of parliamentary sovereignty, yet appears worryingly cavalier about the right of Parliament to

agree the terms of our departure from the EU. Denying Parliament its sovereign right to hold the government to account would fly in the face of what Mr Johnson and so many

fellow Brexiteers claim is vital to taking back control of our politics.

“I have therefore instructed my legal team to serve notice on Mr Johnson, and to take whatever steps would be necessary if, as Prime Minister, he attempts to deny our elected

representatives their legitimate right to debate, scrutinise and vote on the Brexit options facing our nation, prior to the 31 October deadline.”

11.01am update: Gina Miller confronted on new anti-Brexit plot – ‘Who on Earth do you think you are?’

Gina Miller recently wrote a letter to Boris Johnson which asked him to provide notice, should he become Prime Minister, if he plans to suspend Parliament and push through a no deal Brexit.

The businesswoman was confronted by Sky News presenter Niall Paterson over the letter, and questioned on whether it is another attempt to “thwart” Brexit.

Standing in for Sophy Ridge, Mr Paterson read out the letter to Mr Johnson from Ms Miller’s lawyers: “’We request that you undertake not to advise Her Majesty the Queen, should you become Prime Minister, to prorogue Parliament, without first providing 7 days’ notice to our client’.

“Don’t go and see the Queen if you are Prime Minister and prorogue Parliament. I mean, there will be people watching this this morning going ‘who on Earth do you think you are?’

“Writing a letter like that to the man who will most likely be the next Prime Minister.”

Ms Miller replied: “Each of us in a democracy, each of us have the right as a citizen to exercise our legitimate questions of the courts. And that’s what I did the first time.”

10.48am update: Jeremy Hunt says ‘I am the one to negotiate a viable Brexit deal’ 

The Foreign Secretary has said he appeals to “people who might vote Conservative, not just those who already do”.

He wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “I know your biggest priority is to deliver Brexit. Here I ask you to vote with your head and not just your heart. 

“Approach the negotitations in the wrong way and we will get an election not Brexit. The quickest way to leave is not by offering a deadline Parliament could stop butby negotiating a deal it will accept.” 

10am update: Tory chairmen cast aside neutrality to endorse Boris 

A group of 68 chairmen, deputy chairmen and presidents of Tory associations have signed a joint letter to The Sunday Telegraph to say they believe Boris Johnson is the man to deliver Brexit.  

They say that the party would be facing “the chaos of Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage”, as well as an emboldened SNP in Scotland without Mr Johnson’s leadership. 

The open letter from association officers to members said: “We would… urge you to vote for Boris Johnson in the leadership eelction because he will build a team that delivers Brexit, defeats Corbyn and unites our party and our country. 

“He represents the true Conservative values that have been the foundation of our succes and these will enable Britainto move beyond Brexit and build a brighter future.” 

9.42am update: Chancellor warns no-del Brexit will leave UK ‘at mercy of French’

Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned the French would be able to “dial up” or “dial down” at will the queues for goods going into the port of Calais if there is a no deal Brexit. 

He said Paris would be able to exploit the Channel crossing to exert pressure in the same way that the Spanish had used the border with Gibraltar.

Despite spending more than £4 billion on Brexit preparations, Mr Hammond told a BBC Panorama special there would be a limit to the amount of influence the Government could exert in the event of no-deal.

Asked if the UK could control Brexit, the Chancellor said: “We can’t because many of the levers are held by others – the EU 27 or private business. We can seek to persuade them but we can’t control it.

“For example, we can make sure that goods flow inwards through the port of Dover without any friction but we can’t control the outward flow into the port of Calais.

“The French can dial that up or dial it down, just the same as the Spanish for years have dialled up or dialled down the length of the queues at the border going into Gibraltar.”

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