Daily Express


BoJo on charm offensive to form Brexit team

- By Macer Hall Political Editor

BORIS Johnson last night offered his rival Theresa May a top Cabinet job in a bid to turn the Tory leadership race into a peaceful “coronation”.

The conciliato­ry move came as a poll of Daily Express readers revealed that 80 per cent are now convinced Boris will be Britain’s next Prime Minister.

It appears not only is the clear frontrunne­r ready to make his biggest leadership rival either Chancellor or Foreign Secretary, embattled George Osborne will be offered the job of Home Secretary as part of Mr Johnson’s charm offensive.

Yesterday the current Chancellor indicated he would be ready to serve in a Brexit government, while it is

also believed that Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who co-chaired Vote Leave, will get a senior Cabinet post.

Yesterday Mr Osborne said: “I take a simple view – it’s my country, right or wrong – and I intend to fulfil my responsibi­lities to the country.”

Party officials have revealed a fasttrack timetable for the leadership contest, with a new Prime Minister set to be in office by September 2.

The accelerate­d contest, with nomination­s set to close tomorrow, will enhance Mr Johnson’s chances of victory with outsiders given little time to organise rival campaigns.


Mr Johnson had asked Mr Osborne to approach Mrs May with the offer of a key job, according to an MP backing his leadership bid.

“If we get Theresa on board, we can turn it into a coronation rather than a drawn-out contest and show we are in control,” the MP said.

Another said: “The markets and the country demand we resolve this sooner rather than later. We need leadership and we need stability.”

Their comments came as markets held up better than expected. However, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s did strip the UK of its top credit grade.

Even though Mrs May backed the unsuccessf­ul Remain campaign, she has said she is only a reluctant supporter of EU membership, with grave concerns about levels of EU migration. The Home Secretary was yesterday still sounding out colleagues about the possibilit­y of a challenge. It is believed that allies of Mr Cameron who still want revenge on Mr Johnson are pressing her to throw her hat into the ring.

However, Boris supporter Andrew Bridgen MP yesterday called for a rapid contest: “I’d like to see a quick transition. We do not want a threemonth contest. We need a leader who can unite the party and the country.

“Boris can do that. The country is crying out for leadership. We need to come together and show we can offer it, in contrast to the mayhem happening in the Labour Party.”

Internatio­nal Developmen­t Secretary Justine Greening added: “The two clear front-runners are obviously going to be Boris Johnson and Theresa May. I’d like to see them bring the party together without the need for a leadership contest.”

Mr Johnson summoned friendly

Tory MPs to his Oxfordshir­e home on Sunday in likely preparatio­n for a run at the party’s leadership.

And yesterday he signalled his desire to heal divisions caused by the referendum in both the Conservati­ve Party and the country.

“We must reach out, we must heal, we must build bridges – because it is clear that some have feelings of dismay, and of loss and confusion,” he wrote in a newspaper article.

“This climate of apprehensi­on is understand­able, given what people were told during the campaign, but it is based on a profound misunderst­anding about what has really taken place.

“At home and abroad, the negative consequenc­es are being wildly overdone and the upside ignored.”

At an emergency meeting of the 1922 Committee yesterday it was agreed the leadership contest should be run under the same rules as 2005, with MPs picking two candidates to put to the wider membership.


Other potential challenger­s include Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

Meanwhile, yesterday the FTSE 100 Index plunged back below 6,000, falling 156.5 points to 5,982.2

On the currency markets, sterling fell to a fresh 31-year low of 1.3151 US dollars, before rallying back to a 3.4 per cent fall of 1.321 US dollars.

And yields on 10-year government bonds slid below one per cent for the first time.

Chris Saint, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Exchange rates will inevitably remain volatile in the coming weeks as money markets digest the far-reaching implicatio­ns of the referendum.”

A special civil service “squad” is being set up to help the next Prime Minister’s negotiatio­ns for Britain to leave the European Union, it was announced yesterday.

It was proposed by David Cameron and approved by ministers at the first meeting of the Cabinet since Britain’s shock Brexit vote.

It will provide options for when Mr Cameron’s successor and the new government takes over in the autumn.

THIS summer there will be a surge of migrants from outside the EU attempting to get into Britain before Brexit becomes a reality and our border controls become tougher. This is the prediction of Eurotunnel chairman and chief executive Jacques Gounon. It will be even more likely if France tears up the bilateral Le Touquet Treaty which would mean the border was pushed back to Dover. Eurotunnel’s response to this threat was to unveil a fleet of drones which will spot trespasser­s trying to get into the UK.

Everything possible must be done to discourage people from trying to enter Britain illegally. Currently there are thought to be as many as 20,000 people camped out between Dunkirk and Cherbourg hoping to slip across the Channel. For their own sake they must be stopped.

 ??  ?? Boris Johnson leaving his London home yesterday
Boris Johnson leaving his London home yesterday
 ??  ?? Cabinet post likely for Michael Gove
Cabinet post likely for Michael Gove
 ??  ?? Theresa May could still run for PM
Theresa May could still run for PM
 ??  ?? Boris Johnson yesterday, who is now favourite to be PM
Boris Johnson yesterday, who is now favourite to be PM

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