Dominic Raab warns Tories are 'toast' if they miss October Brexit deadline
The Conservative party will be "toast" if the Government fails to take Britain out of the European Union by 31 October, leadership hopeful Dominic Raab has warned.
The former Brexit Secretary - who won the backing of 27 MPs in the first ballot on who should succeed Theresa May - urged his party to "wake up" following a torrid set of election results in the wake of two delays to Britain's EU exit.
The party placed behind the newly-formed Brexit Party, the Liberal Democrats and Labour in last month's European elections, and also placed behind Nigel Farage's new outfit in the recent Peterborough by-election.
Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge, Mr Raab warned about the "corrosion of public trust" now facing the Conservatives.
"The Tory party will be toast unless we’re out by the end of October," he said.
Mr Raab added: "People need to wake up to this. We’ve seen from the Peterborough by-election, we’ve seen from the European elections - not just the frustration, the outrage... the scandal that people feel that we haven't kept our promise on Brexit."
And he warned: "I certainly think the Conservatives cannot win an election unless we've delivered Brexit."
The ex-Brexit Seretary's warning came as fellow candidate Jeremy Hunt - who placed second to Boris Johnson in this week's Tory leadership ballot - refused to rule out a further delay to Brexit if he wins the race.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Mr Hunt said that while it was "not impossible" to leave the EU before 31 October, it would be "difficult" to hit that deadline.
He said: "I'm not committing to a 31 October hard-stop, at-any-cost because I don't think you can make that guarantee.
"And if you do make that guarantee and if you go with the wrong approach... then you are committing us to nothing other than a hard Brexit, a no-deal Brexit."
Meanwhile Mr Raab also sought to defend a widely-criticised vow to prorogue Parliament as part of a a last-ditch effort to avoid MPs stopping a no-deal Brexit in October.
The idea was branded "ridiculous" by Cabinet minister Amber Rudd on Sunday.
But the former Brexit Secretary said: "I don’t think it was something we would want to do and I think it is very unlikely.
"But what is really scandalous is the way people have been trying to sabotage the will of the people and break their promises left, right and centre to get us out of the EU."