Theresa May slaps down Boris Johnson: ‘Government is being driven from the front’

Posted On: 
18th September 2017

Theresa May has insisted her government is being “driven from the front”, as she slapped down Boris Johnson for his extraordinary intervention on Brexit.

Boris Johnson laid out his vision for Brexit over the weekend
PA Images

Mr Johnson stunned Cabinet colleagues at the weekend with a 4,000-word article in the Daily Telegraph setting out his vision for life outside the European Union.

The Foreign Secretary also sparked a fresh row by repeating the Vote Leave claim that Brexit will save the UK around £350m a week, the bulk of which could be given to the NHS.

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That led to Sir David Norgrove, head of the UK's statistics watchdog, to accuse him of a "clear misuse" of official statistics.

Mr Johnson's dramatic intervention came just days before the Prime Minister is set to make a major speech on Brexit in Florence.

A Downing Street spokeswoman this morning insisted that Mrs May had "full confidence" in her Foreign Secretary.

Asked about the extraordinary row as she flew to Canada for talks with Justin Trudeau, Mrs May told reporters: "This Government is driven from the front and we are all going to the same destination because we are all agreed."

She added: “Look, Boris is Boris. I am clear that what the Government is doing, and what the Cabinet is agreed on, is that what we base our future negotiations on, as we have done, are the principles laid out at Lancaster House.”

The Foreign Secretary and Mrs May are reportedly set to hammer out their differences over at a private meeting later this week in New York, where they are both attending the UN General Assembly.

Yesterday, Amber Rudd said the Foreign Secretary’s latest intervention on Brexit was badly timed and amounted to “backseat driving”.

Michael Gove, however, gave his backing to the comments, tweeting that people should “look at what Boris actually wrote in his Telegraph article - not headlines”.