The Brexit Party could form an election pact with Boris Johnson aimed at delivering a “massive” Commons majority for a clean exit from the EU, Nigel Farage has signalled. The former Ukip leader said if Mr Johnson became Prime Minister and had the “guts” to fight an election on a no-deal ticket, then there “is a deal that could be done” with his burgeoning party. Mr Farage’s comments on Tuesday night, at Nigel Farage On Brexit: Live, an event hosted by The Telegraph, represented a boost for Mr Johnson, the front-runner to succeed Theresa May, after the MEP previously dismissed calls for his candidates to stand aside for Tory MPs committed to Brexit. However, Mr Farage, who quit the Conservatives in 1992, insisted that none of the candidates to become Tory leader understood that their party would be “finished” if it failed to deliver a clean exit by Oct 31 – the current deadline agreed with the EU. Asked about the prospect of forming a pact with the Tories under Mr Johnson, Mr Farage, whose party topped the polls in last month’s European Parliament elections, said: “If he has the guts to be prepared to be voted down by Parliament, to call an election on a clean Brexit, then I would suggest that … logically there is a deal that could be done, and in those circumstances Boris would come back with a massive, massive majority.”
Nigel Farage has ruled out an electoral pact with Boris Johnson or any other Tory leader as he hit out at attempts to ‘buy me off’. The Brexit Party leader said he had been approached by Conservative officials about working together to avoid splitting the Brexiteer vote. It came as a new poll showed that almost half of Conservative members would be happy for Mr Farage to lead their own party. Some 46 per cent of members surveyed by YouGov for the Times said that they would be happy if the former Ukip leader joined the party and landed the top job.
NIGEL FARAGE, leader of the newly formed Brexit Party, has said an election pact with Boris Johnson could deliver a “massive” majority on a no deal ticket. Mr Farage made the comments at the Nigel Farage on Brexit: Live event in London, hosted by The Daily Telegraph. Conservative donors have pushed for a pact between the Tories and the Brexit Party and Mr Farage said if Mr Johnson had the “guts” to push for no deal in a snap election he would find “a deal that could be done” with his party. Brexiteers are concerned that Mr Farage’s party, which topped polls at the European election, could split the vote among Tory Brexiteers, giving Labour and other parties a chance for some seats.
A clean exit from the EU could be achieved by Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister and forming an election agreement with the Brexit Party, its leader Nigel Farage has said. The former UKIP chief said such a pact would require Mr Johnson to call a snap election. “If Boris said ‘right, we’re ditching this terrible treaty, it’s the worst deal in history, I made a terrible mistake in voting for it, we’re ditching it’,” Mr Farage said at an event hosted by The Telegraph on Tuesday. “‘We’re giving Europe notice – we’re leaving on the 31st of October on WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms.
More Tory members would be happy with Nigel Farage leading their party than would be against. The extraordinary finding from YouGov points to the huge support Farage has from many pro-Brexit Conservatives. The poll of 892 Conservative Party members found that 46% would be happy for Farage to be Tory leader, with 40% against and 13% who would be neither happy nor unhappy. As YouGov found more widely: “51% of Conservative Party members say they have more in common with supporters from other parties that think the same way on Brexit than they do with fellow Conservatives who take a differing Brexit view.”
Brexit Party Leader, Nigel Farage, appears to have knocked back any prospect of an electoral pact with the Tories, asking of the leadership contenders: “Why would I trust anybody in the Conservative Party?” It comes amid rumours that some Conservative donors want to help forge an alliance between the Brexit Party and the Conservatives. The Chairman of the pro-Conservative Midlands Industrial Council, Johnny Leavesley, wrote in The Telegraph that: “The next PM needs to be willing to work with Farage.”
Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart became the key players in the race for No 10 last night after emerging as the winners from an MPs’ vote and a chaotic live television debate. Mr Johnson moved 80 votes clear of the chasing pack in yesterday’s second ballot of Tory MPs, then came through his first televised hustings event unscathed. Mr Stewart, meanwhile, almost doubled his support among Tory colleagues as he moved within touching distance of Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove, and used the BBC hustings event to cement his place as the most radical alternative to Mr Johnson.
Boris Johnson softened his Brexit stance and backed away from tax cuts for high earners as he faced his first sustained scrutiny of the Tory leadership race. The frontrunner failed to guarantee that he would leave the European Union on October 31 and downgraded his tax plans to an “ambition”. Mr Johnson also refused to say that he would stop the Heathrow expansion as he and the four other remaining candidates took part in a BBC debate last night.
Bookmaker’s favourite Boris Johnson has again come first in a poll of Conservative Members of Parliament choosing who they would have replace Theresa May as both party leader and, thanks to the makeup of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, as Prime Minister of the nation too. The second round of voting — repeated every Tuesday and Thursday until just two contenders remain or one is chosen outright — took place in the grand but innocuously named Committee Room 14 in the Palace of Westminster Tuesday evening.
Dominic Raab’s campaign manager accused Conservative MPs of pretending to support his candidacy after the former Brexit secretary was eliminated from the leadership race. Mr Raab dropped out after falling three short of a threshold of 33 votes from MPs. Sir Hugo Swire, the MP for East Devon who helped co-ordinate his campaign, said that the result was “a surprise and a big disappointment”. Mr Raab gained only three votes between last Thursday’s first ballot and last night’s second, rising from 27 to 30.
Boris Johnson was hammered over his Iran blunder, Muslim veil jibes and tax cuts for the wealthy in a bad-tempered and chaotic TV debate last night – but vowed he will take Britain out of the EU by Halloween. The former foreign secretary came under fire from all sides as he lined up alongside Rory Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid for the hour-long session at the BBC studios in London. But no clear winner emerged, with viewers enraged at the way the candidates dodged questions, as well as the bizarre format set by the corporation.
Downing Street hit back at Philip Hammond today after he reportedly said he was prepared to resign in a row over her decision to spend billions of pounds on cementing a political legacy. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman blasted anonymous quotes from friends of the Chancellor in recent days after saying Theresa May retained full confidence in him. Senior Government sources told the Press Association agency that tensions between Treasury and Number 10 officials have reached boiling point over her spending intentions.
Tory members have been so radicalised by Brexit they would be prepared to destroy the UK to have it delivered – a pollster’s survey has claimed. Members of the Conservative Party would be prepared to have Scotland leave the rest of the country and the six counties of Ireland unite with the Republic if it meant leaving the EU block. Just so we’re all clear that is members of the Conservative and UNIONIST party.
Jeremy Corbyn is poised to back a major policy shift on Brexit that would see Labour support a second referendum in all circumstances, it has been reported. The Labour leader is understood to be ready to move the party towards a decisive pro-Remain stance following intensifying pressure from his own MPs, including his deputy Tom Watson. It comes as the shadow cabinet are due to meet on Wednesday to thrash out its position on Brexit. A paper has reportedly been drawn up by Andrew Fisher, Mr Corbyn’s head of policy, which recommends the party support a second referendum on any deal struck with Brussels.
JEREMY CORBYN will today finally endorse a second referendum on any deal negotiated with the EU, according to reports. Labour performed poorly in the recent European elections, losing half their seats, though they won the Peterborough by-election, their vote share was reduced by 17 percent. A lack of clarity over their Brexit position has been cited by figures within the party as the reason behind the poor performance. The Shadow Cabinet will meet today to discuss the changes. A senior Labour source told The Times that Mr Corbyn will be committing to the policy recommended in a paper drawn up by Andrew Fisher, his head of policy.
Jeremy Corbyn will back a move today for Labour to change its Brexit policy and support a second referendum in all circumstances. The shadow cabinet is due to discuss the plan to make Labour’s stance decisively pro-Remain. A paper drawn up by Andrew Fisher, Mr Corbyn’s head of policy, recommends that Labour support a second referendum on any deal negotiated with Brussels. A senior Labour source confirmed that Mr Corbyn was endorsing the shift in policy, adding: “It is a moment.”
Jeremy Corbyn is set to back a move for Labour to change Brexit policy and support a second referendum. Labour, which along with the Conservatives saw its support slump at the European elections as voters expressed their frustration over Brexit deadlock, is divided over whether to unequivocally support holding a second referendum. The prospect poses a dilemma, as some of the Labour party’s supporters backed Brexit. However the shadow cabinet is set to meet and make Labour’s stance decidedly pro-Remain, putting it firmly at odds with the Tories, who have ruled out a second referendum.
The EU and UK are embroiled in a fresh row over how best to protect the rights of citizens in the event of a No Deal Brexit after Michel Barnier rejected an appeal from the British government. Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, urged Brussels to agree to ‘ring-fence’ part of the Withdrawal Agreement which protects the rights so that the measures are implemented even if the UK leaves the bloc without an overall deal. But it has emerged the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator poured cold water on the proposal. He told the UK it would be ‘far from straightforward’ and warned ministers not to be ‘distracted’ from the main goal of securing support for the Withdrawal Agreement.
Germany has lined up behind other EU states to warn that a new UK prime minister will not be able to renegotiate the Brexit withdrawal agreement they struck with Theresa May. Michael Roth, the country’s EU affairs minister, warned that there was simply no appetite in the EU to re-open talks on the deal. His warning – a reiteration of previous EU statements on the matter – comes as Tory leadership contenders line up to pledge changes to Brexit and further talks in Brussels. “I don’t see any chances to renegotiate the package, the withdrawal agreement is the withdrawal agreement, and I don’t see any appetite to start new negotiations within the European Union,” Mr Roth said on arrival for a regular meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg.
Brussels is increasingly likely to cut off Swiss stock exchanges from the EU’s single market to send a “warning shot” to Bern but also to Brexit Britain. Internal documents revealed that the European Commission is prepared to take a hard line with Switzerland to send a “crystal-clear” message to Britain that the EU is not prepared to compromise on its single market rules. “We simply cannot accept further attempts at foot-dragging and watering down internal market rules, especially in what is probably the decisive phase regarding Brexit,” a document presented to today’s weekly meeting of all 28 EU commissioners read.
Brussels is ready to punish Switzerland by blocking its access to Europe’s financial services market as a warning to Britain that the EU will not compromise on Brexit. Unless Switzerland agrees to sign up to a draft EU partnership treaty, Swiss stock exchanges will lose direct access to European investors on July 1. The move to freeze Switzerland, a non-EU country, out of Europe’s single market is being interpreted as a message intended for a new Conservative prime minister.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has brushed aside concerns for her health after she started to tremble convulsively during a welcoming ceremony for the Ukrainian president in Berlin on Tuesday. Video footage shows Mrs Merkel desperately trying to stop herself from shaking as she stands for the German national anthem during a military ceremony near the Chancellery. The 64 year old can be seen repeatedly clasping her hands in an attempt to maintain composure while her whole body shakes violently. But the worrying episode subsided relatively quickly.
JEAN-CLAUDE Juncker’s bid to force EU countries to scrap the changing of the clocks has descended into farce after lawyers warned his plan may be illegal. The Commission chief has made ditching summertime a key personal legacy project before he retires in November – despite outcry from Member States. But his plan has been dogged by controversy from the start, with capitals complaining it is ill-thought through and based largely on German concerns.
Game-changing cancer drugs which can attack all types of tumour will be fast-tracked by the NHS, the head of the health service will today announce. Simon Stevens will say that a revolutionary class of treatments – known as “tumour agnostic” drugs – could offer hope to thousands of patients in cases which were previously untreatable. They work by targeting tumours according to their genetic make-up, rather than where they originate in the body.
GAME-changing drugs to treat a wide range of cancers are being fast-tracked by the NHS. The therapies, which target genetic flaws that cause tumours, could be available within a year. Initially, they will help hundreds of people with rarer forms of the disease but could be effective against common types. NHS boss Simon Stevens will today tell a conference that plans are in place to ensure they are available to thousands of patients as soon as possible.
Patients in England could be among the first in the world to receive revolutionary cancer drugs after the NHS chief executive calls for the treatments to be fast-tracked into hospitals. Simon Stevens believes the “tumour-agnostic” drugs offer “potentially huge” benefits to patients, by providing a new front through which doctors can attack cancers that have often been left behind by research. The drugs target common mutations in tumours, meaning that rather than being designed for a specific type of cancer — such as breast or prostate — they attack a feature irrespective of location.
Boris Johnson has quietly announced that he will order an independent review into the HS2 rail line if he becomes prime minister. The frontrunner told Tory constituency chairs at the weekend that he has asked Douglas Oakervee, the former chairman of the company building the line, to lead this assessment. It means more uncertainty for the £56billion project after years of criticism over mounting costs. The Financial Times reported Mr Johnson told the meeting he had asked Mr Oakervee to ‘have a look at the business case’ for the project and ‘think about whether and how we proceed’.
Boris Johnson has been accused of throwing the future of HS2 into uncertainty after it emerged he has asked a former boss of the £56 billion pound rail project to conduct a review into “whether and how” it should proceed. Labour’s shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said that it was “premature” for Mr Johnson to be making appointments before he has even won the battle for 10 Downing Street, and suggested the move was designed to curry favour with the Conservative members who will decide the successor to Theresa May.
Commuters face a frustrating journey home this evening after a five-day strike began on South Western Railway (SWR) services just after midnight. Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members walked out just after midnight this morning, saying they had been left with ‘no choice’ other than industrial action. It means disruption for commuters this evening heading home from London Waterloo to areas including Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and Devon. There have been no SWR services running from Bristol Temple Meads today.
Britain is facing an invasion of swarms of deadly Asian hornets that can kill with just one sting. Fears are mounting the killer insects could be on its way to the UK after large numbers have been spotted on Jersey in the Channel Islands. Experts say the recent wet weather could send numbers spiralling as the conditions provide the perfect breeding ground for the species. If a sting victim is allergic to the venom, they could go into anaphylactic shock and die within minutes.
BRITAIN is braced for an invasion of “killer” Asian Hornets as 80 nests have already been found in the UK. The insects – which can grow up to 1.6 inches – have powerful stings which can be fatal to humans with just a single strike if the person is allergic. Record numbers of nests have been found on Jersey as there are fears they will move onto the mainland. The fight is on-going on the Channel Island and is seen as a crucial battle-ground to stop the spread. Just one of the foreign menaces can eat up to 50 bees a day and their impact on honey production could be devastating.