Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Scowling Boris Johnson takes the lion's share of flak

Scowling Boris Johnson takes the lion's share of flak

But the Sunday times also reveals three senior cabinet members are planning to ask Mrs May to step down by Christmas, with half the cabinet wanting her out in the next two years.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that she would face down the "challenge" from Boris, vowing to do whatever is necessary to bring her rival under control.

The Scottish Tory leader hit out at colleagues engaged in "tittle-tattle", adding that being a politician is "about delivering for the country, it's not and should never be about private ambition" - comments likely to be viewed as a swipe at Mr. Johnson.

But the spokesman insisted she had full confidence in both Mr Hammond and Mr Johnson.

May indicated in an interview with the Sunday Times that she might consider a cabinet reshuffle, saying: "Part of my job is to make sure I always have the best people in my cabinet, to make the most of the wealth of talent available in the party". May appeared to have survived another threat to her leadership after a bid to oust her by former party chairman Grant Shapps collapsed when it did not find much support among party MPs. May made some concessions to Europe in a speech in Florence on September 22, injecting momentum into long-stalled talks.

In the messages the Foreign Secretary urged his fellow Tories to "get behind the PM" and turn their efforts on battling Jeremy Corbyn.

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He added: "Yes, we will have to mostly operate under existing rules during the transition but we will be able to negotiate proper free trade deals and business will be able to prepare properly for Brexit".

But the Culture Secretary said: "I don't think it was witty, I don't think it was amusing".

Speaking to the BBC, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said preparations for a no deal were "well under way", adding that while the United Kingdom had to "strive for the very best outcome" from Brexit negotiations, it must also "prepare for all eventualities".

He hailed the Prime Minister's "powerful vision", which included warnings that a transitional period after the official European Union divorce date could last longer than two years.

"This is a woman who puts public service and the country before anything else, she is as resilient as anybody", she said. That's fewer than the 48 needed to trigger a leadership battle, so if May is determined to stay, she can - for now.

One former Cabinet minister close to the Chancellor told The Sun: "Most of us are heartily sick of the Foreign Secretary who started all this with his undermining of the PM after her Florence speech". A reshuffle would be a huge distraction, we don't need to replace people for the hell of it'. "The truth is my feelings can be hurt, like everyone else, but I am pretty resilient".

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