PM ‘prepared to demote Johnson in reshuffle’

8 Oct

The Prime Minister has faced down a fresh call to resign in recent days, following a party conference speech plagued by a coughing fit, falling scenery and a prankster.

In a bid to revitalise her administration, Mrs May is reportedly set to make changes to her top team following the European Council meeting on October 19-20.

A Cabinet reshuffle would prompt questions over the future of Boris Johnson, who has faced calls to be sacked over two Brexit interventions which appeared to undermine the PM’s authority.

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Asked what she planned to do with the Foreign Secretary, Mrs May indicated she would be prepared to demote him as she declared: “I didn’t come into politics for an easy life”.

“It has never been my style to hide from a challenge and I’m not going to start now,” she told the Sunday Times.

“I’m the PM, and part of my job is to make sure I always have the best people in my cabinet, to make the most of the wealth of talent available to me in the party.”

The Prime Minister said she was providing calm leadership with the 'full support of my Cabinet'

May insists she has ‘full support of Cabinet’

Mrs May added that she had an “uncomfortable” time during her party conference speech but never considered leaving the stage early.

“I am a very determined person,” she said. “I am not someone who gives up.”

Amid speculation over the Prime Minister’s future, Mr Johnson urged Conservative colleagues to “get behind the PM” and turn their fire on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn instead.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary compared the Tory party to a herd of elephants that “sniffed the air and turned sensibly away from the cliff” before forcing Mrs May out.

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Mr Johnson added that only “nutters” in the party want to oust the Prime Minister, saying he backed her to secure a “great and successful Brexit”.

It comes as Mrs May has reportedly decided to commit billions of pounds on preparing Britain to leave the European Union without a deal.

The spending is not expected to appear in the Budget and will be “unlocked” in January if no concrete progress is made with Brussels, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

It will be spent on measures which include new technology to speed up border customs checks if the UK has to revert to a World Trade Organisation tariff system, the paper added.

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