Politics update: Johnson takes aim at May as party conference highlights division



Boris Johnson takes aim

Boris Johnson is due to address the Conservative conference fringe today, where he is expected to be critical of the Theresa May’s Chequers deal.

On Monday Johnson was photographed running through fields of dried grass, and many have pointed at the possibility that he was mocking May’s public gaffe in which she claimed that running through fields of wheat was the ‘naughtiest thing she’d ever done’.

The ex-Foreign Secretary has made several thinly veiled attacks against the PM’s Brexit approach over the last two months, being particularly critical of her Chequers approach, which he last week called a “collapse of will by the British establishment, to deliver on the mandate of the people.”

Conservatives urged to back May at conference

Tories have been urged to get behind Theresa May as rival politicians swarm to get ahead of her. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson spoke out at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham on Monday, where she told attendees to get behind May’s “practical, pragmatic and utterly Conservative approach” to Brexit.


She also warned of more divisions to come in the Conservative party, adding: “The last two years have exposed some deep divisions in this country – and in this party. And here’s a safe prediction: in the days and weeks ahead we’re going to hear more of them.”


Hammond stands by austerity

The Chancellor Philip Hammond has vowed to stick by the Conservatives austerity measures, defending them in a speech given to the party conference on Monday.

In his speech in Birmingham on Monday the Chancellor said that Tories needed to show themselves “worthy of the privilege of governing post-Brexit Britain”, before launching a scathing attack on Labour party policies.

Hammond told attendees: “Let me be clear about one thing – while Labour’s answers will solve nothing, their questions deserve a response. And we must answer their challenges with our own Conservative solutions based on realism not populism, delivery not rhetoric.”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was quick to hit back at Hammond’s speech, claiming that his words “confirmed the bankrupt state of the Tory party, increasingly irrelevant and cut off from the real day-to-day life most people experience.”

Tory war on drugs

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid will use his speech at the Conservative party conference on Tuesday to lay out plans for a crackdown on middle-class cocaine users in an effort to tackle violent crime.

He will tell the Birmingham conference crowd: “I am committed to ending the scourge of violent crime and will combat this issue using all the tools at the government’s disposal. We will not only deal with crime when it happens but will go further and strengthen our ability to target and prevent the root causes of criminal behaviour from finding the evidence, ensuring our services are working together, and providing the right resources to the right places.”

May on Andrew Marr

Theresa May spoke to the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday, where she ruled out the possibility of further compromises with the EU in order to reach a deal, telling the host that her party should “come together and get the best deal for Britain.”

In the interview the PM claimed that neither of the options proposed by the EU – staying in the single market and customs union, and a free trade agreement “carving out” Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK – were “acceptable.”

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