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The start of a series in which we ask some key questions of the leading contenders – seven, in the case of the leading ones.  They may not be the most convenient – but that’s why we’re asking them.

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1. What’s to stop pro-Remain, anti-No Deal and pro-Soft Brexit Conservative MPs abstaining in a confidence vote as soon as you become Prime Minister – so making your new government one of the shortest-serving in history?

2. As Prime Minister, will you seek to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 if no deal has been agreed by then – and how will you stop Parliament from stopping you?

3. Polling in Scotland reportedly finds you a liability there. Is putting you in Downing Street worth the risk to the Union?

4. If you win, what Cabinet job, if any, will you offer to Michael Gove?

5. You want to cut income tax, stamp duty and capital gains tax…and raise spending on the NHS, housing and infrastructure. How does that add up?

6. Your former Editor, Dominic Lawson, says that you are “epically unreliable” – and is one of many you’ve worked with who make the point. Why should you be trusted, especially on EU policy?

7. The jokes are all very well but the lack of grip is another thing altogether.  For example, your words about her case did nothing for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.  Who else will suffer consequences if you become Prime Minister?

Tomorrow: Jeremy Hunt.

57 comments for: Key questions for candidates. 1) Johnson

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