Theresa May accuses Boris Johnson of having ‘no new ideas’ in fresh Brexit war of words
Boris Johnson has "no new ideas" on the deal Britain should seek with the European Union after Brexit, Downing Street has said.
In a stinging blast, the Prime Minister's official spokesman suggested the former Foreign Secretary - tipped by many as Mrs May's successor - was not a "serious" politician and that the Tories should stick with her instead.
Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, Mr Johnson accused the Prime Minister of waving "the white flag" in the Brexit negotiations.
Attacking the Chequers deal agreed by the Cabinet in July, he said the outcome of the talks are "about as pre-ordained as a bout between Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy" which would leave Britain "lying flat on the canvas".
But responding to his remarks, Mrs May's spokesman said: "Boris Johnson resigned over Chequers. There's no new ideas in his article to respond to.
"What we need at this time is serious leadership with a serious plan and that is exactly what the country has with this Prime Minister and this Brexit plan."
The latest war of words between Mr Johnson and Number 10 comes as 20 Tory MPs made a joint public commitment to bring down the Prime Minister's Chequers proposals.
But Home Secretary Sajid Javid urged his colleagues to unite behind the plans, saying: "The thing that's helpful for us all to support the Prime Minister with her plan and to make sure it's getting a fair hearing at the EU and for those who think there's a different way then they need to properly set out what alternatives there might be.
"But right now this is the plan that's been put forward by the UK government, it's still being considered by all the different bits that make up the EU and let's see what they say, that's the plan and that's the one everyone should be uniting behind."
And senior Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston tweeted: "No surprise to see the great charlatan blaming others for a mess of his own creation."
Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn waded into the row, saying it was time for “serious people” to take over the negotiations. Asked if he thought the Chequer’s deal was in tatters, he said: “It sounds like it is and it sounds like Boris Johnson, having spent two years as foreign secretary, has achieved nothing and now says it’s all off.
“Well surely, it’s time for some serious people to take over the negotiations? The Tories have had two years since the referendum and made no progress at all.”
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer also lined up to blast Mr Johnson for his remarks, branding them as "false promises."
"Typical Johnson. False Promises", he said.
"Then refusal to take responsbility for his own actions. It's always someone else's fault."