Farage laughs off claims he could back Johnson as prime minister

Nigel Farage has said he does not know where Boris Johnson stands on Brexit in response to claims he could support the Tory leadership hopeful becoming prime minister.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed on Friday that Mr Johnson as PM backed by Mr Farage would be a “nightmare” for Scotland.

But the Brexit Party leader laughed at the suggestion and questioned whether he could trust the leadership favourite.

Mr Farage said: “Would I trust Boris Johnson?

“Boris wrote in his column repeatedly that Mrs May’s new treaty was vassalage – that we’d become a slave state – and I rather agreed with that analysis, even if his language was more colourful than perhaps what I would use.

“Then, on the third attempt, he voted for it. So I’m not quite sure where Boris stands on all of this.”

Mr Johnson resigned as foreign secretary last July, days after a plan for leaving the European Union was agreed by Conservative ministers.

Police funding
Boris Johnson (Brian Lawless/PA)

He voted against the Prime Minister’s defeated withdrawal agreement twice, before announcing he would back it at the third attempt in March, which was again rejected by MPs in the House of Commons.

The former mayor of London changed his position shortly after Mrs May said she would resign if she could get her deal through, and argued that the decision was to stop Parliament from “stealing Brexit”.

On Thursday, Mr Johnson announced he would stand for the Tory leadership when Theresa May steps down and he is the clear favourite, according to a YouGov poll of Conservative Party members for The Times.

Speaking ahead of a Brexit Party rally in Edinburgh, Mr Farage said: “The idea that the fortunes of the Conservative Party in England and Wales can be improved just by getting a new leader might be wide of the mark.

“The sheer level of loss of faith and trust in that party is very high and I think if ever there was a time when we were going to see some sort of realignment of politics going on in the UK, I think now is that moment.”

Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Corn Exchange in the Scottish capital – with dozens of protesters campaigning outside – as the former Ukip leader urged pro-independence voters to “lend your votes to the Brexit Party”, and claimed that Scotland cannot be genuinely independent, describing the campaign as the “most dishonest political discourse I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world”.

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