Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Boris Johnson sends Whatsapp message telling 'friends' to stop attacking Theresa May

Boris Johnson sends Whatsapp message telling 'friends' to stop attacking Theresa May

But Mr Johnson was backed by environment secretary and arch-Brexiteer Michael Gove, who tweeted: "Strong statement from PM on Brexit - let's be pragmatic over implementation to secure maximum freedom to diverge from European Union in end state".

Divisions over the future of British Prime Minister Theresa May burst into the open on Friday with a former chairman of her party saying 30 Conservative members of parliament backed a plot to topple her. Former Prime Minister John Major said he was increasingly dismayed by the plotting in the party by those driven by their own personal agenda. "Whoever they are they do not speak for me", he declared.

"But I think it is nearly unbelievable that the Prime Minister could have Boris Johnson in the position as Foreign Secretary".

Fellow Conservative backbencher Bernard Jenkin, one of the directors of the Vote Leave campaign, criticised the Treasury for being pessimistic and pursuing "Brexit in name only" but stopped short of calling for Hammond to go in a Guardian column published on Monday morning.

Today, May said that the "ball was in EU's court" as the next round of Brexit negotiations got underway.

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There's speculation Ms May will demote Mr Johnson in a cabinet reshuffle which she needs to strengthen her administration, Reuters reports.

In his message, which can be seen on Guido Fawkes website, Johnson said he did not support such briefings: "Folks I have seen yet more stuff in the Telegraph and the Sun purporting to come from so-called friends and allies of mine", his message declares.

An unnamed Cabinet minister told the Telegraph that Mr Hammond had "completely failed", was "miserable" and was "making Brexit hard".

"We think the prime minister should stand aside now voluntarily so there can be a leadership election as soon as possible", Shapps told Bloomberg in a phone interview.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May could soon be planning an overhaul of her team of top ministers in a bid to reassert her authority and end the government infighting that's put Brexit talks in jeopardy.

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Asked what she might do with the Foreign Secretary in a reshuffle, Mrs May told The Sunday Times: 'It has never been my style to hide from a challenge and I'm not going to start now'.

It is thought that May wants to demote Johnson, but is considering whether it is worth the risk of further Tory splits if the foreign secretary was sacked.

One supporter of Mr Johnson was quoted as saying that there was a "stench of death" emanating from Downing Street.

Mr Johnson is thought to be in the firing line after he helped throw the gathering into chaos with leadership manoeuvring.

The ball's in your court, May tells European Union leaders
Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary David Davis will travel to Brussels today to kick off the fifth round of Brexit talks. Kristian Jensen said striking a deal "is not rocket science" and within reach "if the political will is there".

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