Boris Johnson is ready to rev up his Tory leadership campaign – The Sun

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Boris Johnson is ready to rev up his Tory leadership campaign – The Sun



BORIS JOHNSON’S leadership campaign will move up a gear next week.
Having kept a low profile for the past few days, he will unveil his most senior supporter yet, with Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, set to endorse him.
3 Boris needs to finish 20 votes clear of Dominic Raab if he is to establish himself as the clear Leave choice
The Boris campaign will also unveil a slew of MPs backing him, which will put him ahead in the endorsement stakes.
But just as significant as the number supporting him is the fact that Boris’s old enemies are beginning to make peace with him. I understand that various MPs have been to see him to say that while they won’t vote for him, they would accept his leadership.
One MP who won’t be endorsing him, though, is Amber Rudd. She and Boris sat down on Thursday. But ultimately the differences between them over Brexit policy are too great to make any kind of dream ticket work.
I understand that Rudd pushed the former Foreign Secretary to budge on his commitment that the UK would leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. Johnson would not. Rudd felt that she could not support someone holding this position.
Another complication was that Johnson and Rudd’s differences on Brexit made it very hard for them to agree on a joint governing agenda. Johnson, though, should still have more votes in the first round than any other Brexiteer candidate.
He needs to finish 20 votes clear of Dominic Raab if he is to establish himself as the clear Leave choice — Raab is more likely than him to pick up support as the second tier Brexiteer candidates drop out.
As one of those backing Boris puts it: “He’s got to get as close as possible to a third on the first round.” The support of a third of MPs guarantees you a place in the members’ run-off.
The problem for the former London Mayor, as this supporter acknowledges, is that “if there’s ever a perception that Boris was falling back then that would be compounded”.
On the Cabinet side of the contest, Sajid Javid is attempting to reboot his campaign by today setting out his plan for how to deal with the Irish border issue.
One of those backing him tells me it is “not just how you voted in the referendum, but your ability to implement no deal or negotiate with the EU” that matters. This supporter argues that Johnson and Raab aren’t going to get anything out of Brussels, while Javid might.
‘DESTINED PSYCHO-DRAMA’
The Cabinet side of the contest is becoming increasingly fractured. I understand that the Cabinet Ministers most opposed to No Deal have privately agreed to back either Matt Hancock or Rory Stewart in the first round. Both are running interesting campaigns.
Stewart is out doing social media walkabouts, while Hancock is making arguments that the other candidates are being forced to follow. I’m told that next week he will propose a levy on betting companies to fund treatment for gambling addiction.
The energy of these campaigns is causing trouble for the more established Cabinet contenders. I understand that backers of one of them are now warning MPs: “Go to bed with Hancock, wake up with Boris.”
But Jeremy Hunt’s biggest problem is the sense that, in the words of one senior Tory, he is a “completely wasted place” in the final two as it is hard to see how he could beat a Brexiteer candidate.
This is why a growing number of Tories think the party is “heading to the destined psycho-drama” of a Boris/Gove run-off.

James Forsyth is political editor of The Spectator.

Potus deserves respect
BATTEN down the hatches, hurricane Donald is blowing into town. As his interview in this newspaper demonstrates, Donald Trump won’t be governed by the normal diplomatic conventions on his State visit.
3 Trump is not an easy President to deal with, but he is the leader of our closest and most important security allyCredit: AP:Associated Press
He is more than happy to make known his admiration for Boris Johnson, despite the Tory leadership contest. Though some of the rival camps think Trump’s blessing will be a double-edged sword.
It is the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who will greet Trump on his arrival, which will give Hunt the chance to burnish his statesman credentials. Hunt will also be involved in Tuesday’s Downing Street talks between Trump and Mrs May.
Penny Mordaunt, the Defence Secretary, who is expected to throw her hat into the leadership ring, will meet with the President’s daughter, Ivanka, to discuss female economic empowerment.
Trump is not an easy President to deal with. But he is the leader of our closest and most important security ally. UK politicians must also realise that on various issues, including China and the role of Huawei in 5G networks, the Trump position represents the new political consensus in the US.
The UK would be mad to endanger its most import- ant intelligence relationship over this issue.
Farage’s chance to be real force
THE next test for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party comes on Thursday, with the Peterborough by-election.
3 Winning in the Peterborough by-election will give the Brexit Party a chance to become a formidable political force.Credit: Rex Features
If Farage’s party can win, it will show how Brexit has redrawn the political landscape. It will give the Brexit Party a toe-hold in Parliament and a chance to become a formidable political force.
But if the Brexit Party can’t take a seat which voted heavily for Leave in the aftermath of its Labour MP being sent to prison, then its current momentum will be checked.
Cabinet cancelled
CABINET on Tuesday has been cancelled. This is surprising given that it didn’t meet this week as Parliament was in recess. The official reason for it not taking place is that there is too much on with the Trump visit and D-Day commemorations.
But as one minister points out to me, it is hard to believe that Cabinet would have been cancelled if it hadn’t been for the fact that Theresa May is resigning as Tory party leader at the end of the week.
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There can’t be too many runners
CABINET on Tuesday has been cancelled. This is surprising given that it didn’t meet this week as Parliament was in recess. The official reason for it not taking place is that there is too much on with the Trump visit and D-Day commemorations.
But as one minister points out to me, it is hard to believe that Cabinet would have been cancelled if it hadn’t been for the fact that Theresa May is resigning as Tory party leader at the end of the week.
​Boris Johnson is accused of misleading the public when he said leaving the EU would save Britain £350million a week

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