From Daily Mirror: Scottish Tories have launched a secret campaign codenamed “Operation Arse” to stop Boris Johnson becoming the party leader, it has been revealed.
The prime minister hammered out a compromise with her deeply divided cabinet in an all-day meeting at Chequers on Friday, but after consulting friends and allies since, Johnson decided he could not promote the deal.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “This afternoon, the prime minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. His replacement will be announced shortly. The prime minister thanks Boris for his work.”
After the Chequers summit, it emerged that Johnson had referred to attempts to sell the prime minister’s Brexit plan as ‘polishing a turd’.
His resignation follows that of the Brexit secretary, David Davis, and his No 2 at the Department for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker.
From The Independent: David Davis has quit his cabinet job following a major row with Theresa May over her plans for post-Brexit relations with the EU.
From The Guardian: A middle-ranking Tory minister stopped on his way to a meeting in the House of Commons and offered the following observations about the government in which he serves. “There is no discipline at all. Everyone thinks they can say just what they want. It is not good for anyone or good for the country.” Crucial decisions on Brexit had to be made within days, and time was running out, he said. But within the cabinet, disagreements were widening as the moment of truth approached. Ministers were briefing against one another in public, giving an impression that the ship of state was heading for the rocks just when the national interest required those steering it to pull together.
“She has to lead,” the minister added. “The can has been kicked into the corner on Brexit. It can’t be kicked any farther.” He then headed off, turning back for a second, to sum it all up as “midsummer madness”.
Normally ministers and senior MPs will show some caution when having private conversations with journalists at Westminster. They will at least make efforts not to be overheard. But these days they brief without fear on every corner, in every cloister. Soon after the minister departed, a former cabinet minister who has worked for the Conservative party for several decades strolled by and was happy to talk. The atmosphere was dreadful, he said, and Theresa May’s position was becoming more perilous by the day.
From YouGov: After senior ministers engaged in a furious briefing war against one another in the wake of the general election result, Theresa May was forced this week to demand Tory MPs stop backbiting or risk Jeremy Corbyn coming to power.
New YouGov data shows this state of affairs has not gone unnoticed by the general public. In late May, the public was more likely to see the Conservative party as united than divided (42% vs 29%). However, now just 8% see the party as united while almost three quarters (74%) think it is divided.