Monday, 19 August, 2019

PM candidate Harper asks Johnson - Why won't you answer questions?

Johnson is the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister.. Andrew Yates  Reuters Johnson is the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister.. Andrew Yates Reuters
Steven Clarke | 11 June, 2019, 22:23

The new leader of the center-right party will nearly certainly become prime minister, and would lead the country to solve the turmoil of Brexit.

On Brexit, which he described as an "unashamedly personal" matter for him, he said he would be prepared to delay Britain's withdrawal beyond October 31 if negotiations with the European Union on a new deal were making progress.

The race to succeed Ms.

However, he looks determined to carry on with his bid saying he is "undaunted" by criticism because he believes he can deliver Brexit. The idea of Boris Johnson in the European Council is probably quite abhorrent to some EU leaders.

The public campaign launches on Monday all set out domestic agendas, but it was Brexit that dominated, with overt and thinly-veiled digs at former foreign minister Johnson.

The EU is reportedly to tell businesses to prepare themselves for a No Deal Brexit in October as Tory leadership rivals line up to flex their hard Leave muscles. He has threatened to withhold an agreed $50 billion "divorce" payment if the bloc plays hardball.

In endorsing Hunt, Rudd said: "These are serious times and we need a respected statesman who Brussels will listen to, not more bluster". "In getting a good deal, money is a great solvent and a great lubricant". Someone who is prepared to go under the studio arc lights in order to make the case for Conservatism.

He said the candidates should "come and be scrutinised because that is the best way to ensure that we get the best next prime minister".

Leadsom said she'd seek a "temporary" free-trade deal - potentially modeled on the EU-Japan agreement - to preserve manufacturers' supply chains.

Among some of the others who formally launched their leadership bids on Monday include United Kingdom health secretary Matt Hancock, who called for a "fresh start", and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, who unveiled proposals to redirect GBP 500 million a year from the UK's aid budget to create an worldwide wildlife fund to save endangered species and habitats.

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As one of the few Brexiteers remaining in the cabinet, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is seen as a potential contender for the top job. The two men led the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum but their relationship has deteriorated.

But the issue hasn't gone away especially since an article he wrote in 1999 surfaced in which he condemned "London's liberal consensus" for pushing for looser laws on drug use.

Critics accused him of hypocrisy, noting that, in a previous role as education minister, he had signed off on rules to ban teachers for life for taking cocaine.

Gove has signalled he could be open to delaying Brexit again rather than leave without a deal on October 31.

This means that high earning Scots would not benefit from Mr Johnson's proposed tax cut, but would be liable to pay the higher NI contributions, leading to higher bills.

"All candidates in this race owe the public clear answers", Harper said of Johnson. "I know you have before, and I know you may not believe in your heart that you can do it, but the Conservative Party membership deserve a choice".

At campaign launches on Monday, several made their pitches. He has a history of missteps and his advisers appear keen to manage his campaign carefully.

In most cases it involved marijuana, although International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he smoked opium at a wedding in Iran 15 years ago. The party's roughly 120,000 members will then select the victor in a postal vote next month.

The victor, who will become Britain's next prime minister, is due to be announced in late July.

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