Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

David Gauke announces he would resign if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister

David Gauke announces he would resign if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister

Ballot papers have been dispatched to around 160,000 Conservative Party members around the country to choose between former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The BBC reported Saturday that more than 1,000 people had received multiple voting forms. "And I think it's important that we change that balance back".

The new prime minister is expected to be announced - and then take office - during the week of July 22. He also signalled the United Kingdom would be prepared to rescind regulations on business and significantly reduce taxes, as he he'd "had enough of being told...the sixth biggest economy in the world is not strong enough to run itself and go forward in the world".

His comments appear to be a swipe at his sole remaining rival Jeremy Hunt, who referred to 31st October as a "fake deadline".

"I'm a great admirer of Phil. but I sat in the cabinet with him when we were all committed to getting ready for no-deal", he said.

It is already too late to win over some Tory members, whose ballot papers have already been filled in and returned to party headquarters.

Mr Hunt told The Times: "The big message I want to give to Conservative Party members is wait to see me and Boris in action on the TV debates".

"I think there's a lot of talk about preparing for no-deal, and one of the things we need to do is prepare the British people for the realities of no-deal - and I don't think all of my colleagues have been as candid about that as perhaps they might have been".

He suggested "about 30, 30-plus" Tories would vote to block Mr Johnson suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Members are warned that voting twice will mean they are expelled, the Conservatives said.

An overwhelming majority - 77% - think that Mr Johnson's private life is not relevant to whether he would make a good prime minister.

Mr Johnson split from his second wife Marina Wheeler, with whom he has four children, last year, after a turbulent 25 years of marriage.

Mr Gauke has been dubbed as a "pragmatic Remainer" who backs a soft Brexit and wants the United Kingdom to maximise access to European Union markets after leaving the EU.

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