Rory Stewart brands Boris a LIAR in thinly-veiled ‘Pinocchio’ tweet saying Tory front-runner assured him he would NOT pursue No Deal Brexit… two weeks before apparent ‘U-turn’
- Mr Stewart said Mr Johnson had assured him he would not pursue No Deal
- He explicitly said that he ‘could not serve’ in a government led by Mr Johnson
- Then he Tweeted that ‘Jiminy Cricket might be a better choice than Pinocchio’
- Boris Johnson has ruled out further Brexit delays beyond the end of October
Just two days after the Prime Minister’s resignation, efforts to prevent Boris Johnson succeeding Theresa May moved into high gear today with veiled attacks on the former Mayor of London from Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.
But while several Tory contenders have pledged to honour Ronald Reagan’s famous maxim never publicly to speak ill of a fellow conservative, one leadership hopeful has refused to pull his punches: International Development Secretary Rory Stewart.
The Cabinet newcomer, 46, yesterday became the first senior Conservative to insist he would not serve under a Boris premiership.
Then in a Tweet which has already received 5,000 Likes he seemed to compare the front runner to Pinocchio.
Mr Stewart has broken ranks with other Tory leadership hopefuls by insisting he would not serve under Boris Johnson – following it up with this tweeted interpreted as a swipe at Boris
Mr Stewart told the BBC Mr Johnson had told him recently that he had no plans to pursue a no deal Brexit, but when Boris announced his run he insisted the UK would leave the EU ‘deal or no deal.
‘We had a conversation about 20, 25 minutes and I left the room reassured by him that he wouldn’t do this.
‘But, it now seems that he is coming out for a no-deal Brexit.’
Mr Stewart said there was no majority in the Commons for no deal, adding: ‘I think it would be a huge mistake. Damaging, unnecessary, and I think also dishonest.’
But Mr Johnson has pledged to take the country out of the EU in October – with or without a deal – if he wins the leadership race.
Mr Stewart went on: I could not serve in a government whose policy was to push this country into a no-deal Brexit.
‘I could not serve with Boris Johnson.’
Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart has explicitly said he could not serve in a government led by Boris Johnson as he branded a No Deal Brexit ‘dishonest’
In what is likely to be seen by many as a dig at Mr Johnson, the International Development Secretary then tweeted: ‘The star name will not always be the best choice.
‘There may be times when Jiminy Cricket would make a better leader than Pinocchio.’
Mr Johnson is the early favourite to take over, but but he faces a mounting ‘Stop Boris’ campaign from MPs who oppose him.