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Sky Poll of General Public Gives Boris Commanding Lead

A Sky Data poll of the general public (not just members of the Conservative party) has found that Boris holds commanding leads in terms of who would make the best Prime Minister, who would be preferred to deal with Brexit, and who would be more likely to win a general election. Hunt has five weeks to make up the difference…

Mercer: Boris Has ‘Watertight Commitment’ to Leaving the EU on October 31

Johnny Mercer was first out to bat for Team Boris on the Today Programme after Boris’ place in the final two was confirmed. Mercer made clear that Boris had a “watertight commitment” to leaving on 31st October “come what may” and talked up the “fundamental” importance of respecting the Brexit vote. This is what Tory members will want to hear…

Mercer also made the underappreciated point that there have been plenty of times when the EU and numerous experts in the UK have declared something to be impossible, only for it to happen anyway. As Leo Varadkar pointed out yesterday, there are two sides in the negotiation, and many on the EU side are increasingly hostile to any further extension. Parliament can vote as many times as it likes, it can’t unilaterally prevent no deal in a two-sided negotiation. The only certainty the UK can have is to prepare full-out for no deal so the country is ready however the negotiations play out…

Tory MP: I Trust Boris To Attack With a Platoon of 36 Soldiers

Veteran and Tory MP Bob Stewart told Victoria Derbyshire this morning that the way he decided to back Boris was by asking himself which of the candidates he would trust “with a platoon of 36 soldiers if they had to do an attack against somewhere.” That’s one way of making your mind up…

Tory Tea Room Trickery

Tory MPs have been lightening up the leadership race with this picture currently doing the rounds on WhatsApp of a mischievously modified Jaffa Cake box that has mysteriously appeared in the Members’ Tea Room:

Boris supporters have not been letting this delicious deviousness go unchallenged. A rival image has now made its way into Tory WhatsApp circles as well:

Which one do Tory MPs find more palatable? We’ll find out this afternoon…

Tory Leadership: Decision Day

It’s crunch time in the Tory leadership race – by the end of the day we will know who the final two are, however many votes it takes. After last night’s results, Saj is trailing Hunt and Gove by several votes, however he was quick to insist that he wouldn’t be withdrawing. This means there will be at least two votes today:

  • 10 a.m.-Midday: MPs vote in fourth ballot
  • 1 p.m.: Fourth round result – three candidates left
  • 3.30-5.30 p.m.: MPs vote in fifth ballot
  • 6 p.m.: Fifth round result – two candidates left

In the unlikely event that there’s a tie, there will be an extra round of voting into the night from 7.30-9.30pm, with the final result as soon as possible after that. With many MPs going back to their constituencies on Thursday afternoon, as many as 25% of votes today are expected to be by proxy. One person who will definitely be voting by proxy is Theresa May who’s heading off to Brussels for another EU summit. 1922 Committee Vice-Chair Charles Walker has been entrusted with her vote…

With the unpredictable factor of Rory Stewart now out of the race, the talk this morning is that Team Boris is now on maneouvres to take out Gove by pushing the Saj through at his expense. Gove’s 2016 betrayal has still not been forgotten by many Boris supporters, they are out for revenge by dumping him out this time…

Raab Backs Boris

Dominic Raab’s exit from the leadership race yesterday has seen a large number of his supporters flock over to the Boris camp – now Raab has given him a birthday gift of himself. Raab backs Boris as the “only candidate” who can deliver Brexit by October 31…

Boris now has a clear majority of public declarations. Despite Rory pulling ahead of Saj last round his supporters are still unwilling to out themselves – after Rory’s poor performance in the debate last night it’ll be a close call as to who gets the chop. Team Boris have been putting pressure on Saj to drop out to leave Rory in last place and therefore face automatic exclusion although Saj isn’t playing ball. Will they try lending Saj votes instead to knock Rory out directly?

Tory Leadership Second Round Results in Full

Here’s how the results broke down for round two of the Tory leadership contest (round one results in brackets):

  • Boris: 126 (114)
  • Hunt: 46 (43)
  • Gove: 41 (37)
  • Rory: 37 (19)
  • Saj: 33 (23)
  • Raab: 30 (27) ELIMINATED

Boris still has more votes than 2nd, 3rd and 4th combined…

Patten’s Glaring Hypocrisy Over Boris Jibe

Second referendum and Rory Stewart Backer Chris Patten launched into an undignified attack on Boris Johnson this afternoon on Politics Live, attempting to present Boris as an enemy of LGBT rights all precariously based upon one 1998 column where Boris used the word “bumboys” once. Here’s how their records stack up…

  • Boris voted to repeal the notoriously homophobic Section 28 legislation, against the tide of his party in 2003. Jeremy Corbyn abstained…
  • Patten voted to introduce Section 28.
  • Boris launched the campaign for equal marriage, when the majority of the country and Tory MPs opposed the idea.
  • Patten didn’t bother to vote to defend equal marriage legislation in the House of Lords in 2013.
  • Boris as Mayor of London supported the annual Pride celebration. Pink stetson and all…
  • Patten, as far as Guido can see, has not yet attended a Pride parade. Nor has he worn a pink stetson…

Patten’s support for the European Union means he wins the liberal plaudits despite a deeply illiberal voting record. Meanwhile the chattering classes ignore Boris’ actual consistently liberal record because they’re still upset about Brexit…

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article said that Patten voted to kill off equal marriage legislation in the House of Lords.” This was in fact Lord (John) Patten, not Lord (Chris) Patten of Barnes. Guido is happy to clarify that Lord Patten of Barnes simply failed to turn up to vote…

Boris Filmed With Three Blondes

Video footage has emerged from 2009 of the newly elected Mayor of London having a drink with three blondes and even giving one of them his card… on EastEnders. Ten years later he’s tidied up the hair, but he’s still got the charm…

How Rory-Mania Could Lead To Boris’ Coronation

Boris Johnson could become Prime Minister tomorrow, thanks to Rory Stewart, obviating the need to go to any public hustings. The 1922 Committee’s new threshold rules mean that any candidate who gets fewer than 33 votes tomorrow is automatically eliminated from the contest, meaning if all but Boris fail to meet the threshold, he becomes PM. There is a real (if small) chance that due to Rory’s disruption, Hunt and Gove could slip back a little and other candidates not gain enough new supporters for an accidental coronation to happen…

Guido’s tracker of public declarations shows that Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove are both sitting on just on 34 public declarations, meaning Rory only has to attract two public switchers from each for neither to reach the 33 vote cut off. Among Gove’s declared backers are uber-Remainers Claire Perry and Oliver Letwin. Among Hunt’s are Amber Rudd and Greg Clark. All four could switch ship if they are keen to ensure Rory makes it into Tuesday night’s BBC debate, accidentally knocking out Gove and Hunt…

Even going by non-public votes from last round, Hunt would have to lose just eleven, and Gove just five MPs to fall below the vital threshold. Assuming a full turnout, Boris would only need to take 153 votes, for every other candidate to rest on 32, and an accidental coronation to take place…

50% of Tory Members Think Rory Would Make a Poor Leader

77% of Tory members think Boris would make a good leader…

MPs backing Boris will be pleased to see that Tory voters agree with members. In fact Boris is the only candidate who commands a positive net approval rating. Something that will perhaps surprise those avid for Javid.

Rory is the only candidate who has a negative approval rating from Tory members…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Actual Channel 4 News Question: Boris Johnson is a Homophobe and a Misogynist, “How Would You Feel About Him Being in Charge?”

This is an actual press release sent to Guido’s inbox from Channel 4 News last night. The lesbian couple who were shamefully attacked in London were interviewed earlier for the show. The interviewer explained to the couple (who are foreigners) who Boris Johnson was, telling them first in the preamble to the question that he was – unbelievably – a homophobe and a misogynist and then going on to ask them what they thought of him. A coached and leading question to the victims of a homophobic attack, who gave a not to be unexpected answer in the circumstances. Then press released it because given the viewing fiigures nobody would notice it otherwise…

They are supposed to be an impartial news organisation, regulated for broadcasting by Ofcom, not a left-wing campaign. Frankly Guido is amazed that they have managed to cobble together tomorrow’s debate…

UPDATE: Ben Cohen, former Channel 4 News reporter, former editor of Pink News and now CEO of the global gay title slams the bias:

Sugar Goes Sweet on Boris

Boris has received an unlikely endorsement – from hardline Remainer and former Labour peer Alan Sugar. It turns out Lord Sugar will see Boris now – he gets the job as the only candidate who can “stop that Corbyn fellow getting elected” and “grab Brexit by the horns”. He even goes on a rant at Ian King for bringing up the “f**k business” comment. Makes a change from last October when he was calling for him to go to jail over Brexit, it’s not the first time he’s gone on a journey

Boris Doing BBC Debate, Ditching Channel 4

Boris has made his decision on the TV debates, he will do the BBC debate next Tuesday but he’s spurning Brexit-afflicted Channel 4’s Sunday offering. Channel 4 have made clear that they will be going hard on their efforts to “empty chair” him, Team Boris have evidently decided that’s preferable to spending an hour with Jon “f**k the Tories” Snow. See you next Tuesday…

Hunt Flip Flops on TV Debates

Jeremy Hunt took to Radio 4’s airwaves this morning to take a swing at Boris Johnson for apparently attempting to avoid Sunday’s Channel 4 TV debate. Ironic given that until this morning’s conversion Hunt had been looking for ways to avoid debates himself, having put out the line earlier this week that he will only take part in those that “all candidates agree to.” Now he’s had a last minute change of mind. Echoes of Corbyn’s 2017 debate strategy…

Rory Stewart Jumps to Second Place With Tory Members

Looks like Rory Stewart’s ‘unique’ style of campaigning hasn’t done him too much harm, he’s managed an improbable jump into second place in the latest ConHome leadership survey. He’s still going to need at least another eight votes if the fun is going to continue. He tells The Sun he is still “one or two votes short”…

Raab and Gove have both been pushed down a place and fall under 10% for the first time in months, Hunt has closed the gap slightly while the Saj has managed to put a bit of distance between himself and the remaining candidates. Hancock looks to have cleared the 16-vote bar with George Freeman’s switch from Gove yesterday, the other three all have work to do. The membership won’t be too distraught either way, it’s just 2% for McVey and Leadsom while Hancock and Harper don’t even muster 1%…

It’s all a bit academic anyway, these are all molehills compared to Boris Johnson’s towering peak – breaking the 50% mark for the first time. His smooth launch yesterday failed to offer any kind of gamechanging gaffe his rivals need to dent his imposing lead. It’s increasingly starting to look like a race for second place…

Boris on Speed and Weed

When asked at his campaign launch this morning if he had done anything illegal, Boris responded that he “cannot swear that I have always observed a top speed limit of 70mph.” This is a topic Boris has been remarkably consistent on over the years. The last time he wrote about the speed limit he confessed to the same crime…

“Who needs to bust out of the comfortable old corset of the 70mph restriction? Well, all I can say is get out on to a road near you, baby, and look around. It’s you. It’s me. It’s everyone. If you see anyone who is obeying the law, apart from the odd motorised rickshaw, please give me a ring.”

In the same column Boris came close to advocating legalising cannabis…

“The same point can be made, of course, about cannabis, which is now a subject of lively debate in the Tory party. Isn’t that, by the way, just one sign that the Tory party is the coolest, chic-est and most happening place to be right now?

I appeal to all members of our nation’s yoof who may be reading this article to get with it, join the Tory party, help lower the average age from 67.75, and come break dancing with Peter “Tosh” Lilley and Charles “Rastaman Vibrations” Moore, the apostles of liberty.”

Although David Cameron’s previous support for cannabis legalisation disappeared in office, maybe Boris’ won’t. It’s already happening in the US and Canada and would be a novel way to win back younger voters…

Boris on Political Correctness

“It is vital that we as politicians remember that one of the reasons why the public feels alienated now from us all as a breed, is because too often they feel we are muffling and veiling our language if I may put it that way.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Boris responds to Tusk…

“I don’t want a No Deal Brexit but I say to our EU friends if they don’t want No Deal they have got to get rid of the backstop from treaty. If Donald Tusk doesn’t want to go down in history as Mr No Deal Brexit then I hope this point will be borne in mind by him too.”

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