Boris Johnson’s supporters plot to ‘humiliate’ Michael Gove in Tory leadership contest today as Sajid Javid ‘hopes to become BoJo’s Chancellor’
- Gove has never been forgiven for betraying Johnson in 2016 leadership contest
- MPs loyal to Johnson are now plotting the environment secretary’s downfall
- One Johnson supporter has said they want Mr Gove defeated and humiliated
Boris Johnson’s supporters are plotting to ‘humiliate’ Michael Gove and derail his leadership campaign today.
Mr Gove has never been forgiven for betraying Mr Johnson in the 2016 leadership contest.
And now MPs loyal to Mr Johnson are plotting the environment secretary’s downfall, with one Johnson supporter saying they want him ‘humiliated,’ as reported by The Telegraph.
It comes as Bojo’s team have also approached Sajid Javid – who came fourth in the ballot yesterday – to become chancellor, according to allies of the home secretary.
Mr Gove has never been forgiven for betraying Mr Johnson (pictured yesterday) in the 2016 leadership contest
Yesterday, maverick leadership hopeful Rory Stewart was dramatically booted from the contest after coming last with just 27 votes – down from 37 on Monday – leaving four hopefuls left to fight it out.
Mr Johnson picked up support from Dominic Raab, who was evicted in the previous round, to increase his tally again from 126 to 143 – tightening his grip on the keys to Downing Street.
While Hunt came second with 54 votes, Gove came third with 51, and Javid on 38.
Finishing a disappointing fourth, Mr Javid insisted last night he was still in the race to become Prime Minister.
Michael Gove (pictured left, yesterday) has never been forgiven for betraying Mr Johnson in the 2016 leadership contest. It is thought Johnson’s team have approached Mr Javid to be chancellor
But Mr Johnson’s team have already approached the home secretary and offered ‘all sorts of jobs up to that of chancellor’, if he drops out the race and backs Boris, as reported by The Times.
The remaining candidates not named Johnson are now desperately vying for Rory Stewart’s backers, with pressure being put on them to support Mr Hunt to leave Mr Gove isolated.
Johnson supporters are thought to believe that facing Mr Hunt in the final two would be easier than taking on Mr Gove.
Many of Johnson’s team have a ‘visceral hatred’ for the environment secretary and were directly accused by Mr Stewart of dirty tricks yesterday.
Speaking ahead of the vote, he told reporters the former defence secretary Gavin Williamson, who is organising Mr Johnson’s campaign, was encouraging Johnson-supporting MPs to lend their votes to other candidates to manipulate the contest in a bid to determine who he would face in the final run-off.
He told reporters: ‘There’s also the dark arts. Gavin Williamson’s proxy votes, which we don’t know about.
‘There are dark arts in politics and they’re done with proxy votes, they’re not done with someone saying ‘would you please vote for this person’.’
Some Tory MPs last night said they suspected the Johnson camp of lending support to Mr Stewart in Tuesday’s vote in order to get rid of Brexiteer rival Dominic Raab.