John­son dis­owns at­tacks by ‘friends’ on prime min­is­ter

The Guardian Weekly - - Uk News - Peter Walker

Boris John­son has urged his “so­called friends and al­lies” to stop brief­ing news­pa­pers against Theresa May, say­ing he does not know who the peo­ple are, and in­sist­ing they do not speak on his be­half.

The for­eign sec­re­tary’s in­ter­ven­tion, in a mes­sage to a What­sApp group of Con­ser­va­tive MPs, fol­lows an ar­ti­cle in the Tele­graph in which un­named back­ers of John­son said he might refuse to move if May tries to de­mote him in a reshuf­fle. One sup­posed ally told the pa­per that mov­ing John­son would go down “like a bucket of cold sick” with pro-Brexit vot­ers.

But in his mes­sage John­son said he did not sup­port such brief­ings. “Folks I have seen yet more stuff in the Tele­graph and the Sun pur­port­ing to come from so-called friends and al­lies of mine,” the mes­sage re­port­edly read. It added he was “frankly fed up to the back teeth with all this” and did not know if the com­ments came from al­lies or “some sin­is­ter band of im­posters”.

It fol­lows a Tory party con­fer­ence be­fore which John­son wrote a 4,000-word Brexit man­i­festo for the Tele­graph and told the Sun any tran­si­tion pe­riod for Brexit should not last “a sec­ond more” than two years.

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