WATCH Fresh Tory Brexiteer split as David Davis questions Boris Johnson's decision to quit

Posted On: 
9th July 2018

David Davis has challenged Boris Johnson's decision to follow him out of the Cabinet in protest at the Government's Brexit strategy.

The former Brexit Secretary said Theresa May's Chequers deal was not "central" to Boris Johnson's job

Mr Davis quit as Brexit Secretary last night, taking aim at the Chequers deal Theresa May thrashed out with her warring ministers last Friday.

In a second stunning exit, Mr Johnson then resigned as Foreign Secretary this afternoon, leaving the Prime Minister's authority hanging in the balance.

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But Mr Davis denied the walkouts were coordinated, and he challenged Mr Johnson's basis for leaving the Government.

Speaking of his "regret" at the Foreign Secretary's departure, Mr Davis told LBC: "I had to resign because... this was central to my job.

"If we continued with this policy and I was still there, I'd have to present it in the House of Commons, I'd have to present it in Europe. I'd have to be the champion of the policy, which I didn't believe in. So that doesn't work. Somebody else can do a better job than me under those circumstances.

"I don't think it was central to [the] Foreign Secretary. It's a pity - but there we are."

Mr Davis flatly denied any co-ordination with the ex-Foreign Secretary over the walkout, and added: "I told a number of ministers last night [...] just after [...] I'd decided what to do. But that was just to keep them informed."

Despite the double blow to Mrs May, the former Brexit Secretary - who earlier ruled himself out of challenging the Prime Minister for the Tory leadership - insisted a vote of confidence in the the Conservative leader remained a remote prospect.

"I would be surprised if one is precipitated and, if it is, I suspect she'll win it," he said.

Mr Davis added: "I don't think it's a survival issue at all."

The former Cabinet minister was succeeded as Brexit Secretary this morning by arch-Eurosceptic Dominic Raab. Mr Davis was also followed out of the door at the Department for Exiting the European Union by Steve Baker, one of his his most senior ministers.