Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

UK PM a "little surprised" by Johnson resignation


"We had a good relationship with him (Mr Johnson), (foreign minister) Julie Bishop in particular".

"But the popular will, as manifested in surveys of public opinion, suggest that at present about 70 percent of the public judge that the Government is handling the Brexit negotiations badly, and it's been on a declining trend pretty much for the past year".

Johnson, who dramatically stepped down earlier yesterday from his post soon after the resignation of Brexit minister David Davis, accused May of pursuing a "semi-Brexit" with proposals for post-Brexit trade that would leave Britain as a "colony" of the EU. "And how has our Government secured Gibraltar's corner specifically 24 months on?"

At a meeting with Conservative lawmakers on Monday, she was cheered and applauded by many, having warned them that internal squabbling could pave the way for socialist opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to take power instead.

The government has battled to find a way of tackling these while maintaining access to European Union markets and avoiding burdensome customs arrangements that could damage businesses, with some leading companies warning they could cut investment or withdraw from Britain in the wake of a no-deal Brexit.

"What we are proposing is challenging to the European Union", she said.

Senior backbencher Bernard Jenkin said there had been a "massive haemorrhage of trust" in Mrs May.

Under Conservative Party rules, a confidence vote in a leader can be triggered if 48 lawmakers from May's Conservative Party request one.

The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said Europe was deeply troubled not by British cabinet resignations, but by Brexit itself.

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Addressing the backbench 1922 Committee, the Prime Minister said the alternative to the party coming together could be a left wing Labour administration.

Sir Graham refused to say whether he had received any such letters.

Asked if the PM lives to fight another day after the meeting, Mr Buckland said: "Oh, definitely".

Mr Davis was first to go, announcing his exit just before midnight on Sunday.

Describing the Queen being greeted in Commonwealth countries by "flag-waving piccaninnies", a derogatory term for black children, and then-prime minister Tony Blair being met by "tribal warriors" with "watermelon smiles" while on a trip to the Congo. Hours later, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was named as Johnson's replacement. Donald Trump's arrival in the United Kingdom towards the end of the week is also critical - it will be a further coup if she can demonstrate that she can achieve something from her meeting with the USA president on trade or on security.

Gove's reputation within the Tory party was in tatters after he broke with Boris Johnson in 2016 and ran for the leadership himself: he now has the opportunity to show he can be loyal and perhaps earn himself a promotion to higher office.

But others argued May had adopted the most realistic plan after she was weakened in an ill-judged election a year ago when she lost her parliamentary majority, meaning she has to rely on a small Northern Irish party to govern. But should they ultimately do so, the prime minister also looked to have enough support.

"The country is at a standstill with a divided and shambolic Government".

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