Boris Johnson warns rebel Tories to back him or face 'chaos' with Jeremy Corbyn

Posted On: 
1st September 2019

Boris Johnson has delivered an ultimatum to rebel Tories demanding them to pick a side between his Government or “chaos” with Jeremy Corbyn.

Boris Johnson could deselect rebel Tories if they co-operate with Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister laid out the warning as opposition MPs and some Conservatives plan to block no-deal Brexit in law when Parliament returns from recess on Tuesday.

The Tory leader is in talks with senior aides on Sunday over whether to withdraw the Tory whip or deselect rebel MPs who collaborate with Mr Corbyn.

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He is expected to meet with former cabinet ministers Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Dominic Grieve on Monday to force them to choose their side.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: “I just say to everybody in the country, including everyone in parliament, the fundamental choice is this: are you going to side with Jeremy Corbyn and those who want to cancel the referendum?

“Are you going to side with those who want to scrub the democratic verdict of the people — and plunge this country into chaos?

“Or are you going to side with those of us who want to get on, deliver on the mandate of the people and focus with absolute, laser-like precision on the domestic agenda? That’s the choice.”

But the potential move to deselect rebel Tory MPs was dubbed "staggeringly hypocritical" by former Chancellor Philip Hammond on Saturday.

"If true, this would be staggeringly hypocritical: 8 members of the current cabinet have defied the party whip this year. I want to honour our 2017 manifesto which promised a “smooth and orderly” exit and a “deep and special partnership” with the EU. Not an undemocratic No Deal," he said.

It is believed up to 20 Tory MPs, including former ministers, have discussed breaking away from the party and fighting the next general election as “independent Conservatives” if Mr Johnson makes them sign a public pledge to support a no-deal manifesto at a snap poll.

On rebel MPs’ bid to force through a law extending the Brexit deadline this week, the Prime Minister said it would “achieve nothing” but would exacerbate “acrimony” in the country.

He also refused to rule out measures including asking the Queen to refuse the bill of Royal Assent, packing the House of Lords with hundreds of peers to defeat its passage, and calling a general election.

Elsewhere, Mr Johnson also said his Spending Review set to be unveiled on Wednesday will be the “biggest, most generous spending review since the height of Tony Blair’s New Labour”.

Local councils are set to get a £3.5bn cash boost with £1bn earmarked for social care, the Prime Minister said.

“We’re putting a huge amount into social care, into schools, into transport and education,” he added.