Hunt allies suggests Johnson is ‘security risk’…

“The Tory leadership contest erupted in acrimony last night as Jeremy Hunt said Boris Johnson did not “deserve” to lead the country unless he answered questions about his “character”. In an astonishing escalation of hostilities, cabinet allies of Hunt claimed that Johnson’s colourful private life meant he was a security risk and vulnerable to blackmail from foreign powers. The foreign secretary rounded on Johnson after police were called to the flat the frontrunner shares with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds, after an explosive row in the early hours of Friday. Johnson refused four times to explain what had happened as the No 10 contenders faced off at the first of 16 hustings around the country yesterday.” – Sunday Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “If you want the top job you’ve got to turn up for the interviews.” Hunt throws down the gauntlet.

Andrew Gimson: Front-runner will brazen this out

“The Conservative membership must choose between respectability and authenticity; self-control and self-indulgence; puritanism and Merry England. The ructions at Symonds’s flat do not change that choice. They are a forceful reminder to Tories that Johnson, though a kinder, gentler and better educated figure than the president of the United States, possesses a Trumpian ability to attract vast publicity by flouting conventional standards of conduct… Lack of respectability is no bar to becoming Tory leader as long as it is accompanied by the realistic prospect of getting Brexit done and in due course winning a general election. These are the two things Johnson promises to achieve, and in both cases his anti-establishment manner may help him gain the wider support he requires.” – Sunday Times

  • I’m more worried by his lack of serious policies – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • Symonds can still save Johnson, if she wants to – Adam Bolton, Sunday Times
  • Johnson’s real problem is his missing mojo – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • The fire and fury behind that smile – Sonia Purnell, Sunday Times


>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Johnson waves away questions about his domestic dispute

Johnson faces pressure on EU from his own supporters…

Boris Johnson is facing a public campaign by his own supporters to guarantee to deliver Brexit by October 31 if he becomes prime minister, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose. In a bid to pile pressure on Mr Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, more than a dozen Conservative MPs have pledged to “stand up for Brexit” in a reprisal of a major grassroots campaign that previously foreshadowed the defeat of Theresa May’s deal with the EU in the Commons. Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, and Priti Patel, the ex International Development Secretary, pledge their support in an article for this newspaper. Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Eurosceptics, also signed up to the campaign last night, along with Julian Lewis, the chairman of the Commons defence committee.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Johnson’s secret plan to break the deadlock revealed – Sunday Express
  • Carney dashes his hopes of tariff-free trade after no deal – Sun on Sunday


…who reportedly held secret talks with Farage

“Nigel Farage has held a secret summit with Boris Johnson supporters at a £1,500-a-year private members’ club to discuss the forging of an electoral pact to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street. The Brexit Party leader, whose surge in the polls since Theresa May delayed the UK’s departure from the EU has sent shockwaves through the Tories, met pro-Boris MP Priti Patel at the exclusive 5 Hertford Street club in Mayfair earlier this month. He was joined by his ally, the insurance tycoon Arron Banks, and the DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr. Discussions are understood to have focused on a deal under which MPs in an administration formed by Mr Johnson would agree to stand aside in certain seats in favour of Farage’s party to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Britain needs a leader who will stand up for Brexit – Priti Patel and Iain Duncan Smith, Sunday Telegraph
  • Only he can take us out of the EU – Allison Pearson, Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson has to deliver Brexit and cheer us up – Robin Harris, Sunday Telegraph

He could face immediate vote of no confidence

“Boris Johnson has been warned that he is at high risk of being prime minister for just one day as Tory MPs launched a secret plot to stop the Queen asking him to replace Theresa May. The Conservative chief whip, Julian Smith, told Johnson campaign chiefs Gavin Williamson and James Wharton on Thursday that there was a high likelihood he would lose a vote of no confidence within 24 hours of taking the job. Smith revealed that two Tory MPs were on a “high-risk” watch list to defect from the party, destroying its majority in parliament and that a “handful” could jump ship to bring him down.” – Sunday Times

  • His rise is ‘fuelling support for Scottish independence’ – Sunday Times

Hunt pledges tax cut to ‘save high street’

“Britain’s struggling high streets will be thrown a lifeline if Jeremy Hunt becomes the next Prime Minister. Thousands of shops will save an £6,500 a year under plans to scrap business rates for smallest traders. Nine out of ten town centre shops would benefit from the cut – including newsagents, bakers, butchers, chemists, and post offices. Mr Hunt believes it would breathe new life into ghost towns and protect tens of thousands of jobs at risk from shop closures in a victory for The Sunday’s “Save our High Streets” campaign. The Foreign Secretary, who is going head-to-head with Boris Johnson to replace Theresa May in Number 10, will unveil his rescue plan this week.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Front-runner 22 points ahead with grassroots Tories… – Sunday Telegraph
  • …and he enjoys a ‘mammoth’ lead amongst councillors… – Sunday Express
  • …and the Tory faithful trust him more… – The Observer
  • …but he slips behind Hunt amongst all voters… – Sun on Sunday
  • …and his lead amongst Tory voters is halved – Mail on Sunday
  • Gray admits tactical vote for Foreign Secretary – Sunday Times


  • Scandal won’t beat the favourite, but Hunt might – Liz Jones, Mail on Sunday
  • This will be a contest if he goes after Johnson on character – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer


>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “I’ll be the first Prime Minister who’s been an entrepreneur” – Hunt

Gyimah on Eurosceptics’ deselection ‘hit list’

“A dozen Tory MPs who voted remain are on deselection hitlist drawn up by hardline Brexiteers who have launched a campaign of “entryism” to make the Conservative Party more Eurosceptic. A leaked document, seen by this newspaper, shows that the former universities minister Sam Gyimah, who dropped out of the Tory leadership race this month, is set to become the latest victim of the Blue Wave campaign led by Arron Banks, the businessman who helped fund the leave campaign. According to the leaked document drawn up by Banks’s Leave.EU campaign group, the number of constituency party members who have signed a petition requesting a special general meeting is “very near” the 50 required to trigger a no-confidence motion in Gyimah.” – Sunday Times

Labour would tell OBR to change how it measures government performance

“John McDonnell is to hold talks with the Treasury watchdog and demand a different way to assess the performance of a Labour government. The shadow chancellor also plans an emergency budget as soon as eight weeks after Labour wins power. McDonnell has written to Robert Chote, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), in the expectation that Jeremy Corbyn could reach Downing Street this year. He has put Chote on notice that the tests applied to the government will change if Labour comes to power. The OBR will have to draw up a new “fiscal responsibility rule” designed by Labour.” – Sunday Times

  • McDonnell pledges to install a Bank of England governor ‘in tune’ with his ideas – Sunday Telegraph
  • Corbyn preparing ‘war on homeowners’ – Mail on Sunday


  • Watson says party must ‘back Remain to survive’… – The Observer
  • …as Benn calls on Labour to back another vote ‘loud and clear’ – The Observer


  • A spiteful raid which will horrify millions – Jeff Pestridge, Mail on Sunday

>Today: Kristian Niemietz in Comment: How, and how not, to use the ‘V-word’ when debating the Left