Politics update: Johnson confirms leadership bid, as May agrees to set date for her departure

Politics update 17.05.2019

May agrees to set a timetable for her departure

Theresa May

Theresa May narrowly avoided a party mutiny on Thursday by agreeing to set a timetable for her departure in early June, after MPs have their vote on her Brexit bill.

The prime minister met the influential Conservative 1922 committee on Thursday, after many MPs had publicly and privately voiced their concerns at a seemingly endless May premiership. Following the meeting, the committee has now agreed to let May wait until after June’s meaningful vote to set an end date.

With May now planning to set up a timetable for her resignation in the week of 3 June, many now believe that the prime minister will trigger a leadership contest before the summer.

After the meeting on Thursday, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee, said: “We have agreed to meet to decide the timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative Party as soon as the second reading has occurred and that will take place regardless of what the vote is on the second reading – whether it passes or whether it fails.

“It was a very frank discussion, I tried to make sure that all the views represented on the executive were expressed and we had a very frank exchange with the Prime Minister.”

Johnson confirms bid for Theresa May’s job


Boris Johnson has confirmed he will stand in a Tory leadership contest once Theresa May has resigned, saying he had a “boundless appetite to try and get it right.”

The statement from Johnson came as the prime minister agreed to set a timetable for her departure in the first week of June, with many now speculating there will be a leadership race before the summer.

In an interview with broadcaster Huw Edwards on Thursday, Johnson said: “I’m going to go for it. Of course I’m going to go for it. I don’t think that is any particular secret to anybody. But you know there is no vacancy at present.”

Pressed earlier on his leadership ambitions, Johnson made a veiled criticism of May’s current Brexit approach, saying: “We’ve failed over the past three years to put forward a convincing narrative about how we exploit the opportunities of Brexit.

“All I can say, as tactfully and usefully as I can, is that I have a boundless appetite to try to get it right, and to help the country to get on the right path,” he added.

Banks accused of funding Nigel Farage’s luxury lifestyle after Brexit

Aaron Banks Fined
Leave.EU co-founder Aaron Banks

Channel 4 News has alleged that pro-Brexit tycoon Aaron Banks bankrolled Nigel Farage’s lavish lifestyle in the year after Brexit, providing him with gifts of money, a new home and car.

spent about £450,000 in the year after the referendum, which was used to rent a home in Chelsea, and fund Farage’s visit to America to promote himself. According to the programme, Banks also supplied a Land Rover Discovery and a driver for Farage.

Speaking this week, Banks told the programme: “Channel 4 attempts to smear myself and Nigel come at a time when the Brexit party is riding high in the polls, so it should come as no surprise to anyone.”

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