21 Jun 19
BORIS Johnson channelled his hero Winston Churchill today as he told Tory activists: “the hour is darkest before the dawn”.
The ex-Foreign Secretary rallied the troops at a local Tory association meeting this afternoon, and promised them he could save the party from total wipe-out.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt go head to head against each other for the Tory crown – and to be PM
Boris channelled Churchill with a speech to activists earlier today
As the contest formally goes to Tory members across the country today, he vowed to “turn this thing around”.
Speaking in London today he said: “I don’t think I’ve known a time in my thirty years campaign to get Tory votes.
“I’ve never known a time where we got 9% in a national election.
“My message to you today is: the hour is darkest before the dawn. We can turn this thing around.”
Churchill used the phrase “the darkest hour” to describe the period in World War II where Europe had fallen and Britain stood alone against the tyranny of Nazi Germany, though it was used prior to that.
BoJo wrote a biography of the famous wartime PM, too.
Boris also used his speech to lash out at Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn, calling him “Hugo Chavez, anti-Semitism condoning, Kremlin-apologising”.
And “we cannot, my friends, let this guy anywhere near Downing Street,” he added.
Whoever becomes PM next month will have a huge task to deliver Brexit and rescue their failing party.
And either Boris or Jeremy Hunt face an even HARDER job as PM now their majority is hanging by a thread – after a Tory MP was booted out of his seat.
The wannabe PMs could face a vote of no confidence in days, as the fight now heads to the Tory membership.
Chris Davies was kicked out of his seat earlier today after 10,000 of his own constituents voted to get rid of him after he faked an expenses invoice.
10 per cent of people in the area need to sign the petition to boot him out, and almost double that voted to get rid of him.
A by-election will be held in weeks, giving Boris or Hunt another electoral test before they even set foot in No10.
But Mr Davies has vowed to stand again for the Tories and try and hold onto the seat.
The shamed MP said: “I sincerely apologise to all the people of Brecon and Radnorshire – and now it is absolutely right that they have their say about whether they would still support me.”
Leadership rival Mr Hunt came out defending him earlier, saying: “Whatever the rights and wrongs of his expenses claim, I have only ever known Chris Davies as a decent and honest man and a very diligent local MP.”
Mr Davies is the third MP to face a recall petition, and the second to be kicked out.
Ex-Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was chucked out by her Peterborough residents earlier this year too.
The Government’s majority has slowly been eroded this year – three left to join Change UK and Nick Boles left the party to sit as an independent.
The Liberal Democrats have got their eye on the Welsh seat, which they held in the past, and the Brexit Party has vowed to fight for it too.
The current majority is at four – on a knife-edge – and would go down to three if they lose the seat.
That will make it even harder to get any Brexit deal – or any other laws – through the House of Commons.
And MPs are gearing up for a general election this autumn if the favourite wins the support of the members in the coming five weeks.
Boris and his rival Mr Hunt will face a gruelling 16 head-to-head debates around the country in the coming weeks – before the Tories vote on who they want to be their next PM.
Last night Tory MP Mark Francois told talkRADIO: “Whoever the winner of the Conservative leadership contest is, they’ll probably face a vote of confidence in the House of Commons within a few days…
“I believe Boris would win that if, crucially, we keep the support of the DUP.”
Mr Corbyn is likely to table that between the 22 and 25 of July – which is when MPs will stop sitting in the Commons and go off for their summer break.
One MP in Mr Gove’s campaign told the i newspaper last night that an election was on the cards in months.
They said: “We have four weeks to prepare for Prime Minister Boris, and then an autumn general election.”
Jeremy Hunt said he will give Boris the ‘fight of his life’
Christopher Davies pleaded guilty to two charges back in March
Early morning run in beautiful Worcester at the start of my personal marathon. Sorry to miss great local MP @WalkerWorcester pic.twitter.com/ab58iLRbUu
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) June 21, 2019
Helped out at a bakery, visited a chocolate factory, and got a free haircut during my visit with Conservative members in Tenbury this morning. Thanks to @hbaldwin and W Worcs members for great welcome…and sunshine! pic.twitter.com/k7cGjjVonX
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) June 21, 2019
Alsolutely delighted to welcome @BorisJohnson to #Reading for a hugely successful fundraiser! Thank you Boris for a fantastic, uplifting and optimistic speech energising the room and speaking about delivering for the whole nation! #OneNationConservatives pic.twitter.com/W6Ev1Y2slh
— Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) June 20, 2019
If Boris loses a vote of confidence in the Commons he has just 14 days to get the support of MPs before an election is triggered automatically.
Some MPs have speculated Boris could even call an election in October to ensure that Britain leaves the European Union without a deal.
Hopeful Mr Hunt was out for a jog in Worcester today as the race officially leaves the MPs behind.
He did a walk-about in the town centre and visited local business.
Last night both men were talking to associations as they geared up to woo over grassroots Tories to their campaigns.
Michael Gove was booted out last night as he lost out by two votes to Mr Hunt.
Boris’ team were accused of “dirty tricks” by lending votes to other teams and then withdrawing them.
The former Foreign Secretary is still the firm favourite, with odds of 1/14 to become the next Tory leader and take the PM crown.
But Mr Hunt, on 8/1, has vowed to give Boris the fight of his life.
Ex-Brexit boss David Davis, who once also ran to be the Tory leader back in 2005 against David Cameron, said his advice would be: “Be yourself, be sober and remember the country” in order to win the crown.
He urged Mr Johnson to be “steady and stick to the practicalities”.
[boxout headline=”Bank of England boss Mark Carney dashes Boris hopes of No Deal trade” intro=”By Martin Beckford”]BANK of England boss Mark Carney has dashed Boris Johnson’s hopes of tariff-free trade with Europe after a No-Deal Brexit.
The Governor said there was no way for the UK to carry on importing and exporting goods without extra charges if we crash out in October.
He told the BBC that he had discussed the matter with the head of the World Trade Organisation and that even Brexiteer minister Liam Fox was of the same opinion.
His comments will come as a blow to the Tory leadership favourite, who told the BBC debate this week: “There will be no tariffs, there will be no quotas.”
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme Mr Carney, who will step down in the New Year, said: “We should be clear that not having an agreement with the EU means there are tariffs automatically because the EU have to apply the same rules to us as they apply to everyone else.
“We should be clear that no deal means no deal – it means there is a substantial change in the trading relationship with the EU.”
He dismissed Mr Johnson’s plan to get a so-called standstill agreement – maintaining free trade – under a rule known as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) 24 of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) treaty.
“The Gatt rules are clear – the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has testified to this effect in Parliament and I have spoken to the director-general of the World Trade Organisation on this fact.
“Gatt applies if you have an agreement, not if you have decided not to have an agreement or have been unable to come to an agreement.”
Mr Carney also warned 150,000 businesses have not got their paperwork in order for a No-Deal Brexit, in another blow to Mr Johnson’s hopes of a smooth departure in October.
He said firms have been stockpiling but went on: “It provides a very short-term level of preparation … well, weeks really.”
Mark Carney trashed Boris’ plan to stop tariffs from hitting UK goods in a No Deal Brexit
[article-rail-section title=”MOST READ IN POLITICS” posts_category=”318″ posts_number=”12″ query_type=”popular” /]
[boxout headline=”The Sun Says”]BORIS Johnson vs Jeremy Hunt looks like a terrible final. We hope we’re wrong.
We have great respect for Mr Hunt and congratulate him. He is a decent man and an excellent Foreign Secretary, unfairly maligned by the Left during his long, tough stint at Health. He has run a terrific campaign.
But the Tories won’t want a reformed Remainer in charge now. They want a committed Brexiteer to deliver Brexit, then win votes all over the country.
Boris is vastly more likely to do that. Which is why he is miles ahead with MPs and, more importantly, members.
The Tories should use this contest to produce the best, most achievable Brexit plan. That may be a combination of both candidates’ ideas, though there’s not a huge difference between them.
Then they need the man most capable of winning the election which seems inevitable, before unifying Britain in a way Corbyn’s Marxists can never do.
Mr Hunt is a good operator and a self-made millionaire used to tough negotiations, but we cannot see that beating Boris’s charisma. It would take a miracle or a Boris implosion.
We were sorry to see Home Secretary Sajid Javid lose out. His campaign won him many new fans. And Michael Gove is a tremendous orator, reformer and Brexiteer who would have given Boris a stiffer challenge than any of his rivals.
But Johnson v Hunt it is. Bring it on.
Michael Gove was knocked out of the contest last night
[bc_video video_id=”6050464613001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Boris Johnson to battle Jeremy Hunt to become the next PM as Michael Gove is eliminated from the Conservative leadership race “]
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