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Boris Johnson ‘threatens to axe Jeremy Hunt from Cabinet over his “aggressive” campaign tactics’

Jeremy Hunt faces the humiliation of being offered a Cabinet demotion after infuriating Boris Johnson with his relentless negative campaigning 

Jeremy Hunt faces the humiliation of being offered a Cabinet demotion after infuriating Boris Johnson with his relentless negative campaigning.

There are growing doubts about whether Mr Hunt will take a job in the Cabinet because the Foreign Secretary has made it clear he would only accept a ‘top four’ position as Chancellor, or Secretary of State for Defence, the Foreign Office or Home Office.

But Mr Johnson has been ‘increasingly angered’ by Mr Hunt’s aggressive campaign, including being called a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates.

And The Mail on Sunday can also reveal Mr Johnson is considering making former leadership rival Dominic Raab the Chancellor in his new Government because he is a No Deal ‘true believer’.

Although Home Secretary Sajid Javid is still the frontrunner to become Chancellor, Mr Johnson is understood to be ‘agonising’ over whether to give the job to Mr Raab who, unlike Mr Javid, backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

While both Mr Raab and Mr Javid declared during their leadership campaigns that they were prepared for Britain to leave the EU without a deal on October 31, the Home Secretary is not regarded as a ‘pure’ Brexiteer within the Tory Party because he voted Remain. 

Rising star Rishi Sunak, another Brexiteer, is hotly tipped to be Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

There are growing doubts about whether Mr Hunt will take a job in the Cabinet because the Foreign Secretary has made it clear he would only accept a ‘top four’ position as Chancellor, or Secretary of State for Defence, the Foreign Office or Home Office. Above: Mr Hunt arrives at a hustings event today in Wyboston, Bedfordshire

There are growing doubts about whether Mr Hunt will take a job in the Cabinet because the Foreign Secretary has made it clear he would only accept a ‘top four’ position as Chancellor, or Secretary of State for Defence, the Foreign Office or Home Office. Above: Mr Hunt arrives at a hustings event today in Wyboston, Bedfordshire

A source said: ‘One plan had been to send Jeremy to the Treasury [as Chancellor]. But then he criticised Boris’s tax-cutting plans and has been campaigning aggressively long after it became clear he was not going to win.

‘Plus we need a proper No-Dealer in there.’

Mr Johnson’s allies also suspect that Mr Hunt is pursuing a ‘scorched earth’ policy to damage any Johnson Government and set himself up as the ‘king across the water’ if it collapses.

It comes as Mr Hunt used the final week of campaigning to declare he would abolish the Department for Exiting the European Union if he wins, and take full responsibility for negotiations.

‘This is too big a job to not be done by the Prime Minister,’ he said.

Mr Hunt, who has been widely mocked throughout the campaign over his repetition of the fact he used to be in business, will instead create a Cabinet role of Minister for Entrepreneurs.

But Mr Johnson has been ‘increasingly angered’ by Mr Hunt’s aggressive campaign, including being called a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates

But Mr Johnson has been ‘increasingly angered’ by Mr Hunt’s aggressive campaign, including being called a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates 

Last night he also vowed to hold his first Cabinet meeting in Scotland to show his commitment to the Union, a move his rival campaign described as ‘desperate tokenism’.

With Mr Johnson holding a seemingly unassailable lead over Mr Hunt in the battle to be the next Prime Minister, he has begun drawing up plans for his first Cabinet.

Support for Mr Johnson’s hardline ‘deal or No Deal’ pledge has become the effective prerequisite for a senior job. 

And The Mail on Sunday can also reveal Mr Johnson is considering making former leadership rival Dominic Raab, pictured, the Chancellor in his new Government because he is a No Deal ‘true believer’

And The Mail on Sunday can also reveal Mr Johnson is considering making former leadership rival Dominic Raab, pictured, the Chancellor in his new Government because he is a No Deal ‘true believer’

Although Home Secretary Sajid Javid, pictured, is still the frontrunner to become Chancellor, Mr Johnson is understood to be ‘agonising’ over whether to give the job to Mr Raab who, unlike Mr Javid, backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum

Although Home Secretary Sajid Javid, pictured, is still the frontrunner to become Chancellor, Mr Johnson is understood to be ‘agonising’ over whether to give the job to Mr Raab who, unlike Mr Javid, backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum

Rising star Rishi Sunak (left with Mr Johnson at a visit to a North Yorkshire farm last week), another Brexiteer, is hotly tipped to be Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Rising star Rishi Sunak (left with Mr Johnson at a visit to a North Yorkshire farm last week), another Brexiteer, is hotly tipped to be Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Last week, Hunt backer Amber Rudd dropped her previous opposition to No Deal, clearing the way for her to join Mr Johnson’s administration. 

Tomorrow she will travel to Rome to give a speech, partly in Italian, about the importance of having women in senior political roles. 

She will say: ‘For women’s interests to permeate all aspects of business, politics and finance we must have more women around the table making the decisions that matter.’ 

It will be widely seen in Westminster as a pitch to become Foreign Secretary, although there has been talk of Ms Rudd heading a ‘turbo-charged’ Women and Equalities brief from the Cabinet Office with the title of Deputy Prime Minister.

Senior Tories hope the ‘mother of the nation’ role would help unite warring factions when the result is declared on July 23.

Mr Johnson’s supporters say he accepts that one of his top four Ministerial jobs should be held by a woman. 

A source said there had been plan to make Mr Hunt Chancellor but he then criticised Mr Johnson's tax-cutting plans and had been 'campaigning aggressively for a long time after it became clear he was not going to win'

A source said there had been plan to make Mr Hunt Chancellor but he then criticised Mr Johnson’s tax-cutting plans and had been ‘campaigning aggressively for a long time after it became clear he was not going to win’

Advisers have suggested that after Ms Rudd’s ‘soft pivot to a hard Brexit’ he could make her Deputy Prime Minister as part of efforts to ‘heal’ the Brexit rift in the party.

Last night, Mr Johnson told a hustings: ‘I have never known a time there were so much female talent on our benches. We will promote women.’

Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss harbour ambitions to be Chancellor, both are likely to be disappointed as they also supported Remain, although both have since tacked to a pro-Brexit position.

Last week, Hunt backer Amber Rudd dropped her previous opposition to No Deal, clearing the way for her to join Mr Johnson’s administration

A source said: ‘Boris has been hugely impressed by the way Liz and Matt have gone out to bat for him, and all they have done for party unity. They will get good jobs.’

As the MoS revealed two weeks ago, Mr Johnson has discussed sending Ms Truss to the Business Department to replace anti-No Dealer Greg Clark.

And former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has also been tipped for a Cabinet return after strongly defending Mr Johnson during the campaign.

Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss, pictured,  harbour ambitions to be Chancellor, both are likely to be disappointed as they also supported Remain, although both have since tacked to a pro-Brexit position

Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss, pictured,  harbour ambitions to be Chancellor, both are likely to be disappointed as they also supported Remain, although both have since tacked to a pro-Brexit position

However, last night he put himself at odds with Mr Johnson by welcoming a Metropolitan Police investigation into the leak of diplomatic cables from Britain’s ambassador to the US. 

Another ex-Cabinet Minister also seeking a return is Iain Duncan Smith, with suggestions the former party leader could take on the role of chairman.

In preparation for fresh Brexit talks with Britain’s new Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker’s term as EU Commission President is set to be extended to the end of year.

An announcement from Brussels could come as soon as Tuesday.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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