So much for the Brexit brother­hood: David Davis wanted PM to sack BoJo

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Tories at War - By Si­mon Wal­ters and Glen Owen

BREXIT Sec­re­tary David Davis wanted Theresa May to sack Boris John­son for his eve of Tory con­fer­ence Brexit re­volt, it emerged last night.

The Mail on Sun­day has estab­lished that Mr Davis made it known to se­nior party fig­ures that he be­lieved the For­eign Sec­re­tary should be fired for set­ting out his ‘red lines’ on Brexit in a news­pa­per ar­ti­cle, and then again in a pre-con­fer­ence in­ter­view.

Mrs May re­fused to do so on the grounds that it could back­fire by caus­ing an even big­ger Con­ser­va­tive split.

The dis­clo­sure that Mr Davis wanted his fel­low Brex­i­teer kicked out of the Cab­i­net came as some ob­servers ex­pressed ‘sur­prise’ at Mr Davis’s par­ty­ing at last week’s con­fer­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to well-placed sources, he was ‘high spir­ited’ at a num­ber of events.

Mr David at­tended a re­cep­tion held by the party’s pow­er­ful 1922 com­mit­tee on Sun­day evening. One source said: ‘Davis looked as if he had en­joyed a good dinner. He was throw­ing his arms around, with his en­tourage trail­ing in his wake.’

No10 was then ir­ri­tated by re­marks which Mr Davis made to jour­nal­ists the fol­low­ing day dur­ing which he said he planned to re­tire in 2019 and leave Mr John­son to steer the UK through the Brexit tran­si­tional pe­riod. Mrs May laughed off his ‘bar room’ com­ments as a joke on Tues­day.

But out­go­ing Mr Davis was not fin­ished with his con­fer­ence so­cial­is­ing. Later that evening, he downed bub­bly at the Spec­ta­tor mag­a­zine’s party in the Midland Ho­tel, along­side fel­low Cab­i­net Min­is­ters, news­pa­pers edi­tors and diplo­mats. A friend of Mr Davis said: ‘David en­joys so­cial­is­ing. For any­one to crit­i­cise that is pa­thetic. It’s not as if he is like Juncker’ – a ref­er­ence to the fa­mously bibu­lous Euro­pean Com­mis­sion chief. There is no sug­ges­tion Mr Davis drank ex­ces­sively.

Ear­lier this year Mr Davis apol­o­gised af­ter pri­vate text mes­sages emerged in which he in­sulted Diane Ab­bott fol­low­ing a late-night en­counter be­tween the pair in a Com­mons bar.

A spokesman for Mr Davis said that the Boris claim was ‘tit­tle­tat­tle’ and there was no sug­ges­tion that he had over-in­dulged dur­ing the con­fer­ence.

‘He looked like he had en­joyed a good dinner’

PARTY POL­I­TICS: Mr Davis at an event in Manch­ester

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