May signals foreign minister Johnson could be sacked

Ivan Schwartz
October 10, 2017

The Telegraph quoted one backer of Mr Johnson as saying that there was a "stench of death" emanating from Downing Street.

Mrs May has repeatedly faced questions about whether Mr Johnson - a potential leadership rival - is "unsackable" due to her weakened position after the gamble of a general election backfired, depriving her of a Commons majority.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries was even more direct, telling ITV's Peston on Sunday: 'If I were prime minister, the person I would be demoting or sacking would be Philip Hammond'.

Concerned that May's government will collapse before Brexit is complete, European Union negotiators have held more frequent back-room talks with the opposition Labour party, the Telegraph reported, citing people it didn't identify.

'She very much wanted to do that before the election was called because I don't think he's been completely on board.

She said: "I think Philip Hammond has been deliberately trying to make the Brexit negotiations hard, stall them, obfuscate the issues".

"If that was just a problem for the Conservative Party I wouldn't be particularly bothered, but it's a massive problem for the country at the moment", the SNP politician added.

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But defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon insisted there were no divisions within the cabinet.

"Rumour is always destabilising but let me assure you the Cabinet is not divided, we are behind the Prime Minister", he told Sky News.

Johnson's claims to loyalty were backed by Crispin Blunt, a pro-Brexit senior Tory backbencher, who said the foreign secretary had supported May in his conference speech and now in the WhatsApp message.

Theresa May's official spokesman declined to comment on reshuffle speculation, but said that the Prime Minister has full confidence in both Mr Hammond and Mr Johnson and believes both are doing a good job.

It is being speculated that the foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is one of top Brexiteers could be sacked in the Cabinet reshuffle, who created several recent controversies over his approach towards Brexit, which in some cases are in starkly different than the one adopted by the government.

Allies of Boris Johnson has said he will "just say no" if Theresa May tries to sack or move him from the Foreign Office.

An attempted coup led by former party chairman Grant Shapps has fizzled out, but the Sunday Times claimed at least three Cabinet ministers had discussed the need to replace the Prime Minister on Thursday evening, the day after her conference calamity. The reshuffle, according to the Sunday Times, would take place after an October 19-20 summit in Brussels where May will be hoping for a breakthrough few think possible.

Other reports by GizPress

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