Boris Johnson tackles his woman problem: Tory leadership frontrunner is ‘determined’ to promote talented Conservatives Liz Truss and Nicky Morgan to replace female allies of Mays
- Allies believe Boris Johnson will promote Liz Truss and bring back Nicky Morgan
- Mr Johnson is understood to be determined to promote ‘talented’ Conservative women to replace female allies of Mrs May’s who are likely to leave Cabinet
- Other women in the running for senior roles include Esther McVey and Priti Patel
Hug: Liz Truss embraces Mr Johnson at this week’s final hustings
Boris Johnson will promote Liz Truss and bring back former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan in an attempt to confront his ‘women problem’, allies believe.
The Tory leadership frontrunner is finalising his top team over the weekend in anticipation of defeating Jeremy Hunt when the result is announced on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson is understood to be determined to promote ‘talented’ Conservative women to replace female allies of Mrs May’s who are likely to leave Cabinet.
Miss Morgan, who was Education Secretary under David Cameron before she was sacked by Theresa May, is in the running for a ministerial post.
The chairman of the Commons Treasury select committee was a leading supporter of Michael Gove. She also backed Remain in 2016 and earlier this year signed up with a group of moderates opposed to a No Deal Brexit.
However, she is well liked and respected by Tory Brexiteers following her work on ‘Alternative arrangements’ to deal with the Northern Ireland border.
One source said: ‘Nicky is pragmatic, she’s competent and she’s a One Nation Tory who’s adapted to Brexit.’ One insider in the Johnson camp told the Daily Mail that Miss Truss was still ‘in the running’ to be Chancellor along with Home Secretary Sajid Javid. ‘The reason it could be Liz is Boris is, like Liz, quite anti-convention and anti-establishment. She doesn’t like the nanny state and neither does he,’ they said.
‘He likes rebelling against convention. Liz is the same. They share a libertarian streak. Liz would be loyal to him.’
Boris Johnson will promote Liz Truss (left) and bring back former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan (right) in an attempt to confront his ‘women problem’, allies believe
Two other possible Chancellor candidates, Matt Hancock and Dominic Raab, are thought to have been excluded and will be given other jobs. Other women in the running for senior roles include Esther McVey and Priti Patel, who could replace Brandon Lewis as party chairman.
Describing Mr Johnson’s thinking about appointments, one senior ally told the Mail: ‘We have to unite the party and the country. We have to demonstrate from day one, not just in your speech but in what you do and how you structure your Cabinet. He wants to show generosity of spirit and magnanimity and that everyone can do their job competently.’
Britain’s deficit spirals
The UK’s budget deficit has increased by billions of pounds in a blow to the next prime minister’s spending plans.
Public sector borrowing hit £17.9billion in the three months to the end of June – £4.5billion more than last year, according to official figures released yesterday.
Borrowing in June alone surged to £7.2billion – the highest for the month in four years. Britain is now on course to borrow more in this financial year than the £29.3billion predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
The figures follow a flurry of spending pledges from Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.
The budget watchdog warned on Thursday that the ‘uncosted’ plans put forward by the rivals would add tens of billions of pounds to borrowing costs if implemented.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who finished a narrow third in the first round of the contest, will stay in the Cabinet – in a sign Mr Johnson wants to move on from their past rivalry.
Last week it emerged Mr Johnson will put a senior woman official from his time in City Hall in charge of his Downing Street policy unit. Munira Mirza, who served as deputy mayor for culture when Mr Johnson ran London, is understood to be in line to draw up his plan for government. Last night it emerged Mr Johnson has already spoken to Donald Trump.
The US President said the former foreign secretary would do a ‘great job’ after the pair had a telephone conversation on Thursday. ‘I like him,’ Mr Trump said.
Allies of Mr Johnson expect him to win by a convincing margin, with at least 60 per cent of the votes among Tory members.
■ Tory backbenchers on the 1922 Committee want new rules to protect the next premier from a confidence vote. Currently, Tory leaders who win a confidence vote – such as Mrs May last December – enjoy a year’s protection. But this does not automatically extend to an incoming leader.
This means Mr Johnson or Jeremy Hunt could in theory face a challenge as Tory leader within days of becoming prime minister if 15 per cent of the parliamentary party write to the 1922 chairman.
But former Tory minister Sam Gyimah said: ‘The 1922 cannot be refereeing and at the same time mucking up rules.’
…But Boris’s girlfriend Carrie is ‘not keen to meet the Queen’ as her hubby fulfils his lifelong ambition
Pictured: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds
Carrie Symonds will not travel to Buckingham Palace with her boyfriend Boris Johnson if he becomes prime minister next week, the Mail understands.
Miss Symonds, 31, has told friends she doesn’t want to be ‘in the limelight’ when Mr Johnson fulfils his lifetime ambition of entering 10 Downing Street.
The couple intend to live together in Number 10, but she is understood to be determined to keep a low profile.
A friend of the couple told the Mail: ‘She wants to support him in any way she can but she’s got no desire to put herself in front of the cameras. If Boris really needs Carrie there, she will obviously be there but otherwise she’s got her own full time job to do.’
Another said: ‘She’s the last person to want to make a big entrance. Of course she plans to be supportive of Boris, as ever, but she doesn’t want to be front and centre.’ The incoming prime minister has traditionally been accompanied by their spouse when going to visit the Queen to ‘kiss hands’.
David Cameron was joined by a heavily pregnant Samantha Cameron in 2010 when he replaced Gordon Brown, and in July 2016 Theresa May and her husband Philip went to Buckingham Palace together. The spouse sits in an outer room at the palace while the new PM goes to meet Her Majesty. On Tuesday the result of the Tory leadership run off will be announced, with Mr Johnson the odds on favourite to triumph.
Mrs May will complete her final Prime Minister’s Questions session on Wednesday before travelling to the Palace to resign as PM and recommend her successor to the Queen.
Miss Symonds, a former director of communications in Tory central office, is an advisor at Oceana, an organisation which campaigns to protect and restore the world’s oceans.
Mr Johnson has refused to comment on his private life during the leadership campaign.
The couple lived together in Miss Symonds’ flat in Camberwell, south London, until last month, when their neighbours called the police following a late night ‘row’ and leaked a recording to The Guardian newspaper.
Mr Johnson and his second wife Marina, the mother of four of his children, announced they were divorcing in September last year.
Javid praises Farage… is this an olive branch to the Brexit Party?
By Ian Drury, Home Affairs Editor for the Daily Mail
Home Secretary Sajid Javid heaped praise on Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party yesterday – defiantly insisting that they were not extremist.
In a keynote speech in London, he said Mr Farage ‘deserved credit’ for leaving Ukip as it lurched to the far-Right when taken over by Gerard Batten and Tommy Robinson.
Mr Javid made the surprise intervention as he outlined his plans to tackle those who spread extremist ‘poison’.
His remarks will be seen by some in Westminster as the Tories extending an olive branch to the Brexit Party ahead of a possible general election in the autumn.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid heaped praise on Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party yesterday – defiantly insisting that they were not extremist
In May’s European elections, the Brexit Party helped to condemn the Conservatives to their worst result at the ballot box for nearly 200 years. Mr Farage’s troops polled 31 per cent, leaving the Tories in fifth place on just nine per cent as voters punished Theresa May for her failure to leave the EU. Boris Johnson, who is hot favourite to be crowned Tory leader on Tuesday, has ruled out an electoral pact with the Brexit Party as he promises to restore the Conservatives’ battered fortunes.
But if he fails to keep his pledge to deliver Brexit by October 31, the Tories risk being consigned to history by voters flocking to Mr Farage in a subsequent election.
In his speech, Mr Javid said: ‘Around the world, populism and even open racism, have catapulted extremists to power.
‘I am proud to say, this has not happened in mainstream politics here.
‘We are naturally liberally minded people. We remain the most successful multi-racial democracy in the world.’
He said Ukip had ‘floundered’ since shifting towards the far-Right, with leader Mr Batten being advised by racist EDL founder Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – who was sent to prison last week for nine months for contempt of court. Mr Farage has denounced his former party’s shift.
Mr Javid said: ‘We must give credit where credit is due. So I applaud Nigel Farage for walking away, branding Ukip thugs and extremists. Even though his Brexit Party has not made my life any easier, I want to be clear: They are not extremists. It doesn’t help to exaggerate the problem, to demonise anyone with a different view and to see danger when it is not there.’
Mr Farage has been criticised in the past for encouraging extremism with anti-immigrant rhetoric, including the notorious ‘Breaking Point’ poster that was used in the EU referendum campaign.
He has said he would be open to a deal with the Tories once Theresa May stands down.
Mr Farage welcomed Mr Javid’s comments, tweeting: ‘So there is some decency left in politics.’
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