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Theresa May: Boris Johnson 'doesn't undermine what I am doing'

Theresa May: Boris Johnson 'doesn't undermine what I am doing'”

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said her foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, was not undermining her authority even though he drew his own red lines on the Brexit negotiations last week.

May is due to speak at her party's annual conference in Manchester tomorrow where foreign secretary Boris Johnson is also supposed to deliver a key speech.

May also insisted that Johnson did not force her to change the Florence speech, which she said was "the result of discussions around Cabinet".

Mrs May's grip on the Tory leadership has been weakened after her gamble of a snap general election backfired, costing the Tories their Commons majority.

He told BBC Newsnight: "Contrary to some of the stuff that I notice has been knocking around in the media, you have a Cabinet that is totally united behind every comma, every full stop, every syllable of the Prime Minister's excellent Florence speech".

Urging conference to "be bold", the foreign secretary told conference that there was appetite for Britain to play a greater role on the worldwide stage, and that the country was "committed as team players and where necessary leaders" in global development.

The Foreign Secretary was given a warm reception in the conference hall.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

Asked on ITV's Good Morning Britain if the Foreign Secretary was "unsackable", Mrs May said: "I was asked that question some time ago, and I said no, of course a Prime Minister makes decisions about who is in their Cabinet".

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon peppered his speech with jibes about Mr Johnson, hailing the military values of "discipline and loyalty - from which we can all learn".

The Prime Minister was not present for Mr Johnson's speech, but used a series of broadcast interviews to insist she was a strong leader.

"Leadership is about ensuring you have a team of people who aren't yes men, but a team of people of different voices around the table, so you can discuss matters, come to an agreement and then put that government view forward, and that's exactly what we've done": May told the BBC today.

Voters wanted ministers "to focus not on our own jobs, but on their jobs and their futures", she said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are all EPP members.

The European Parliament savaged the British government's handling of Brexit negotiations on Tuesday, voting against opening talks yet on future trade and condemning disarray in May's team.



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