Boris Johnson in fresh challenge to Theresa May over Whitehall shake-up

Posted On: 
2nd October 2017

Boris Johnson has suggested his Foreign Office should merge with the Department for International Aid in a fresh challenge to Theresa May’s leadership.

Boris Johnson has already infuriated colleagues with his repeated challenging of the Prime Minister
Credit: 
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The Foreign Secretary said New Labour had made a “colossal mistake” to hive off DfID from his department in the 1990s.

And he revealed he and International Development Secretary Priti Patel were “basically” trying to bring the two back together.

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Mr Johnson's comments will be seen as a fresh power grab – since the organisation of government departments is not in his gift.

He told the Sun: “It was a colossal mistake in the 1990s to divide DFID from the Foreign Office.”

He explained: “If we are going to be in this great global campaigner for free trade, then we have got to maximise the value of overseas engagements.”

And he added: “Priti and I are now working much more closely with our departments.

“We now have double-hatted ministers, and are basically trying to bring the Foreign Office and DFID back together.”

Last night the Foreign Secretary was warned to get behind Mrs May as senior Tories expressed their frustration at his apparent manoeuvring for the party leadership.

Mr Johnson has already infuriated colleagues with his repeated challenging of the Prime Minister on Brexit and even domestic issues that are not his brief.

The British Chambers of Commerce have also warned that continual Cabinet wars were undermining confidence in the UK and that bosses were "growing impatient with division".