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Blow for Boris: Former Tory Cabinet members plotting to start new party before election

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Daily Express :: Politics Feed  

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Amber Rudd, Philip Hammond and David Gauke are said to be holding talks with around 10 rebel MPs who lost the Tory whip after voting against the Government last month. And if the Prime Minister reveals the party will pursue a no deal Brexit manifesto at the next election, more Tory MPs could follow suit.

But an MP involved in the talks told Buzzfeed said the group would rather have the Tory whip given back to them so they can run as Conservatives in the next election.

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond also told Buzzfeed: “My preference is to run as a Tory candidate, but if I am not able to, I plan to stand as an independent.

“I would look to co-operate with any other ex-Tories standing in similar circumstances.”

The group is not believed to have a leader or manifesto yet.

Many members of the group are planning to back a second referendum too, including Ms Rudd.

This comes after the former Home Secretary branded Mr Johnson as “desperate” and without a plan about Brexit.

She said many MPs fear a general election would be just as “divisive” and fail to solve the Brexit crisis.

Meanwhile, Mr Hammond is also hoping there will not be an election.

READ MORE: Brexit news: Pound rises amid optimism – will a deal be agreed?

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I don’t think an election solves our problem here. I would not support an election at the moment.

“Ironically, a few weeks ago we were being asked to give assurances that we wouldn’t vote against the Government in a vote of no confidence and now we’re being asked to vote to turn the Government out.”

The Prime Minister attempted to secure a deal with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar during crunch talks in the Wirral on Thursday.

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After the talks, European Council president Donald Tusk, offered a lukewarm reaction.

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He said: “I have received promising signals from the Taoiseach that a deal is still possible.

“Of course there is no guarantee of success and the time is practically up but even the slightest chance must be used.”

But Mr Johnson did not want to give a running commentary on Brexit talks when asked this afternoon whether Northern Ireland would be leaving the EU customs union.

He told reporters: “I think it would be wrong of me to give a running commentary on the negotiations.

“Look at everything I’ve said previously and you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

“I can tell you that under no circumstances will we see anything that damages the ability of the whole of the United Kingdom to take full advantage of Brexit and that is what people would expect.”

Responding to the developments, DUP leader Arlene Foster said Boris Johnson was aware of the DUP view that the UK had to leave the EU as one nation.

She made clear her party would exercise its “considerable influence” in Parliament to stand up for the region.

She said: “We are regularly in touch with the Prime Minister and as a result he is aware of our views.

“The United Kingdom EU referendum result delivered the people’s verdict and it must be delivered. To do otherwise would be anti-democratic.

“We have been consistent in our opposition to the backstop, whether UK or NI only, and anything that traps Northern Ireland in the European Union, whether Single Market or Customs Union, as the rest of the United Kingdom leaves will not have our support.

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“The Prime Minister is very mindful of that. We have argued that it is important to secure a balanced and sensible deal as we leave the European Union.

“Those who know anything about Northern Ireland will appreciate that these issues will only work with the support of the unionist as well as the nationalist community.”

Blow for Boris: Former Tory Cabinet members plotting to start new party before election

Amber Rudd, Philip Hammond and David Gauke are said to be holding talks with around 10 rebel MPs who lost the Tory whip after voting against the Government last month. And if the Prime Minister reveals the party will pursue a no deal Brexit manifesto at the next election, more Tory MPs could follow suit.

Amber Rudd, Philip Hammond and David Gauke are said to be holding talks with around 10 rebel MPs who lost the Tory whip after voting against the Government last month. And if the Prime Minister reveals the party will pursue a no deal Brexit manifesto at the next election, more Tory MPs could follow suit.

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