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Defiant Boris Johnson dismisses fury over his ‘surrender’ jibes at Remainer MPs

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Boris Johnson today rejected criticism over his ‘surrender’ jibe at Remainer MPs today – saying he must be allowed to speak plainly.

The Prime Minister shrugged off claims he has been whipping up anti-establishment anger as he kicked off the Tory conference in Manchester. 

He admitted there were real threats to politicians from extreme elements in society.

But he said it was ‘entirely legitimate’ to use ‘military metaphors’ such as the ‘Surrender Act’ to describe a rebel law designed to block No Deal. 

Mr Johnson gave a strong indication that he will not resign even if he cannot keep his ‘do or die’ vow to get Brexit by October 31.

However, he refused to say whether he would be willing to declare a state of emergency to bypass the legislation. Asked if he could get round the Benn Act, he said: ‘Of course we can.’ 

‘The best way to end this is to get Brexit done,’ he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show. 

Mr Johnson was pushed on whether he regretted branding concerns about death threats ‘humbug’ in the Commons last week. 

‘I am being a model of restraint,’ he said. However, the premier did say he regretted if there was a ‘misunderstanding’ about what part of the question from Labour’s Paula Sheriff he had been calling ‘humbug’.

The comments came amid claims Mr Johnson is ‘whipping up’ Brexit riots so he can declare a state of emergency and force No Deal on October 31.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Boris Johnson said it was ‘entirely legitimate’ to use ‘military metaphors’ such as the ‘Surrender Act’ to describe a rebel law designed to block No Deal

Boris Johnson (pictured on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show today) shrugged off claims he has been whipping up anti-establishment anger as he kicked off Tory conference in Manchester

Mr Johnson was pushed on whether he regretted branding concerns about death threats 'humbug' in the Commons last week

Mr Johnson was pushed on whether he regretted branding concerns about death threats ‘humbug’ in the Commons last week

Labour’s Keir Starmer warned that the PM wants to use the extreme tactic to flout a rebel law obliging him to beg the EU for a delay.

Mr Johnson has insisted he will abide by the law – but said he will never request an extension to the Halloween departure date.  

In a sign of the deep divisions in society, a poll today suggests nearly half the public say Mr Johnson should go to prison if he breaks the law. 

Tories turning Trumpish under Boris Johnson, says ex-minister David Gauke 

Former Tory Cabinet minister David Gauke blasted the politics of the party under Boris Johnson,saying it was like Donald Trump’s control of the Republicans in the United States.

The ex-justice secretary, who was stripped of the party whip after voting to block a No Deal Brexit, said the Tories had become a party that worked to ‘divide the country’ using coarse language.

He urged the party to use its conference in Manchester to become a party that brings the party together.

‘It does remind me of the way that Donald Trump is now running the Republican Party in the US. That is a disappointing state of affairs to put it mildly,’ He told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday.

‘I don’t believe that is right for the Conservative Party, I don’t believe it is right for the country.

‘And I hope that we see a change of direction in the course of the next few days at the conservative party conference.’

But the Tories are also 11 points ahead of Labour on general election voting intention, and No10 believes Mr Johnson’s tough message is cutting through. 

Mr Johnson told the Marr show: ‘I think what most people in this country would agree is that Brexit discussion has been going on for far too long and it is true that tempers on both sides have now become inflamed…

‘The best way to end this is to get Brexit done on October 31st and move the country forwards.’

Mr Johnson claimed the best thing for people’s ‘psychological health’ would be to deliver Brexit.

‘The best thing for the country and for people’s overall psychological health would be to get Brexit done,’ he told Marr.

‘It’s not just I who thinks that – if you look at where the public is, whether they voted Leave or Remain – they really think it’s up to Parliament now to get this thing over the line.’

The Prime Minister suggested that his use of the word ‘humbug’ in response to Paula Sherriff may have been a misunderstanding.

‘My use of the word humbug was in the context of people trying to prevent me – us – from using the word ”surrender”,’ he told the BBC.

Andrew Marr said Ms Sheriff – who claimed people quoted the Prime Minister’s words in death threats to MPs – was talking about something ‘very specific’.

Mr Johnson said: ‘In that case, that was a total misunderstanding and that was wrong.’

He added: ‘I can certainly say sorry for the misunderstanding, but my intention was to refuse to be crowded out from using the word ‘surrender’ to describe the Surrender Act.’ 

One minister warned last week that there would be violent unrest if the government does not follow through on Brexit.  

Former Tory Cabinet minister David Gauke blasted the politics of the party under Mr Johnson,saying it was like Donald Trump’s control of the Republicans in the United States.

The ex-justice secretary, who was stripped of the party whip after voting to block a No Deal Brexit, said the Tories had become a party that worked to ‘divide the country’ using coarse language.

How could the state of emergency ploy work? 

Remainers increasingly fear the government will take drastic action to sidestep the law obliging Boris Johnson to seek a Brexit extension.  

One idea being floated involves invoking the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which grants ministers powers temporarily in a crisis. 

The government would declare an emergency, then get the privy council to suspend the Benn Act – allowing the UK to leave on the schedule date of October 31. 

However, even if the tactic was tried, it appears unlikely to survive scrutiny by the courts.

The government would need to satisfy judges that there is a genuine emergency – rather than an attempt to dodge the law. 

The Supreme Court has already indicated its willingness to intervene by ruling the PM’s attempt to prorogue was Parliament illegal.   

He urged the party to use its conference in Manchester to become a party that brings the party together. 

‘It does remind me of the way that Donald Trump is now running the Republican Party in the US. That is a disappointing state of affairs to put it mildly,’ He told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday.

‘I don’t believe that is right for the Conservative Party, I don’t believe it is right for the country.

‘And I hope that we see a change of direction in the course of the next few days at the conservative party conference.’

Remainers increasingly fear Mr Johnson will take drastic action to sidestep the law obliging him to seek a delay.  

One idea being floated involves invoking the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which grants ministers powers temporarily in a crisis. 

The government would declare an emergency, then get the privy council to suspend the Benn Act – allowing the UK to leave on the schedule date of October 31.  

Interviewed in the Observer today, Sir Keir said: ‘Whipping up the idea of riots or even deaths if we do not leave the EU on 31 October is the height of irresponsibility. 

‘But it is also pretty obviously being orchestrated. 

‘If this is part of a government plan to misuse powers under emergency legislation, I can assure the PM we will defeat him in court and in parliament.’        

The legislation passed by Parliament earlier this month orders Mr Johnson to ask the EU for more time if no agreement has been reached by October 19. 

No10 chief Dominic Cummings fuelled Remainer paranoia last week by insisting there are ‘loopholes’ in the rebel law. 

Mr Cummings told Sky News: ‘There are obviously loopholes here, because Remain lawyers are all babbling away on Twitter about the loopholes, so they say themselves that there are loopholes.’  

Sir John Major warned that Mr Johnson could use ‘political chicanery’ to try to force No Deal.

The former PM said he feared the powers of the privy council could be abused to suspend a Remainer rebel law designed to stop the UK crashing out. 

In a speech to the Centre for European Reform, Sir John suggested the government could try to bypass the Benn Act by issuing an executive Order in Council.

That does not require the permission of the Queen, and could potentially suspend the law until after October 31.

‘I should warn the Prime Minister that – if this route is taken – it will be in flagrant defiance of Parliament and utterly disrespectful to the Supreme Court,’ Sir John said.

‘It would be a piece of political chicanery that no-one should ever forgive or forget.’ 

Labour's Keir Starmer (pictured at Labour conference last week) warned that the PM wants to use the extreme tactic to flout a rebel law obliging him to beg the EU for a delay

Labour’s Keir Starmer (pictured at Labour conference last week) warned that the PM wants to use the extreme tactic to flout a rebel law obliging him to beg the EU for a delay

No10 chief Dominic Cummings (pictured at a book launch last week) fuelled Remainer paranoia by insisting there are 'loopholes' in the rebel law

No10 chief Dominic Cummings (pictured at a book launch last week) fuelled Remainer paranoia by insisting there are ‘loopholes’ in the rebel law

Mr Johnson (pictured arriving for Tory conference in Manchester with girlfriend Carrie Symonds yesterday) is engaged in a furious standoff with opposition parties over Brexit

Mr Johnson (pictured arriving for Tory conference in Manchester with girlfriend Carrie Symonds yesterday) is engaged in a furious standoff with opposition parties over Brexit

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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