Boris Johnson dismisses warnings Parliament will find way to block no-deal

Boris Johnson has dismissed warnings by senior ministers that Parliament will find a way to block a no-deal Brexit as a "red herring", as he condemned the "defeatism and negativity" in Government about the prospect of leaving the EU.

The Tory leadership frontrunner told the party faithful at a hustings in Darlington that the Conservatives were languishing in the polls because "MPs seem still to be refusing to enact the mandate of the people".

His comments came after Chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke and ex-minister Sam Gyimah said MPs would not allow Britain to leave the EU without an agreement with Brussels.

Mr Johnson said: "I think this is all a bit of a red herring. We are facing an existential crisis as a party and indeed as a political class.

"It was a clear, clear majority for Leave. Now we are at a state where MPs seem still to be refusing to enact the mandate of the people. That is why our great party is languishing in the polls.

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Retransmitted correcting byline to Yui Mok Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson leaving his office in Westminster, London.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson leaving his office in Westminster, London.
A blimp depicting Boris Johnson is launched in Parliament Square, London, ahead of a pro-European Union a march organised by March for Change.
A Pro EU demonstrator is seen wearing Conservative Party leadership contender Boris Johnson's face mask while holding a placard, during the �No to Boris. Yes to Europe� march in central London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A stilts-walker wearing a giant Nigel Farage's head pulling two puppets, the Conservative leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, during the �No to Boris. Yes to Europe� march in central London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson jumps down from a trailer during a visit to King & Co tree nursery, in Braintree, Essex, ahead of the Tory leadership hustings in Colchester, Essex.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson in a fork lift truck during a visit to King & Co tree nursery, in Braintree, Essex, ahead of the Tory leadership hustings in Colchester, Essex.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a Tory leadership hustings in London.
Supporters of Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson before a Tory leadership hustings in London.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London with Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London with Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London with Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to construction work for the expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to construction work for the expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to construction work for the expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson watches as a sheep is prepared for shearing during a visit to Nosterfield farm near Ripon in North Yorkshire, ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson holds up a string of sausages around his neck during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson sits in a chair in a clothing shop during a visit to Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson makes sausages during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson during a Tory leadership hustings at Darlington Hippodrome.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson makes sausages during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arriving at a Tory leadership hustings in York.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Nosterfield farm near Ripon in North Yorkshire, ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson poses for a selfie with a steelworker during a visit to Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson looks through binoculars on the bridge of the Isle of Wight ferry as it sets sail from Portsmouth.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson poses for a photo at the Wight Shipyard Company at Venture Quay during a visit to the Isle of Wight.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arrives for a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson addresses party members at the Oaktree Arena in Highbridge, Somerset.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson thumbs up as he leaves an event after addressing party members at the Oaktree Arena in Highbridge, Somerset.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking during a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking during a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking in Exeter during a Tory leadership hustings.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson sits in a boat under construction at the Venture Quay boatyard during a visit to the Isle of Wight.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arrives to speak at a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse.
Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson looks out from the bridge of the Isle of Wight ferry St Faith, as it sets sail from Portsmouth.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking at a campaign event in Wombourne in the West Midlands.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
Supporters during Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson's leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson (left) watching his son speak in Exeter during a Tory leadership hustings.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson at a campaign event in Wombourne in the West Midlands.
Campaigners from Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC) flood Lord North Street in Westminster, London, where Boris Johnson's campaign headquarters is , with 2000 rubber ducks.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson with a supporter at a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking at a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson at a campaign event at the Lion Quays Hotel in Oswestry, Shropshire.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson has a drink in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (centre) and Dominic Rabb (right) talk to staff in the Surrey Hills Butchers in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (right) interacts with local business people in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (second left) weighs some produce in the Surrey Hills Butchers in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (right) interacts with local business people in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (right) interacts with local business people in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb, in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
RETRANSMISSION adding name of Hayley Monckton. Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (centre) walks with David Alexander (left, Director of Estates at the RHS) and Hayley Monckton (front right, Director of Communications at the RHS) while touring the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks to a visitor as he tours the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks to visitors during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (centre) gestures to visitors as his staff members walk up the steps, during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Boris Johnson pictured during a live phone in with LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, at their studios in central London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2019. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
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"If we get on and do Brexit we will spike the guns of both the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party who are prospering at our expense because of our failure to get this done.

"I hope that Philip and Sam and all the other friends that you mentioned can see that."

Mr Hammond told the BBC it would be "shocking" if the next prime minister tried to sideline Parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit, and that he was confident MPs would find a way to block such an attempt.

Elsewhere, Mr Gauke told Parliament's The House magazine: "If I was to speculate on it, given that we have an activist Speaker, given that there is a parliamentary majority against no-deal, a way will be found."

He was backed by former minister Sam Gyimah, who said some Tory MPs would even vote for a no-confidence motion to bring down the Government to prevent no-deal.

Mr Johnson condemned what he said was the "defeatism and negativity" in Government about the prospect of Brexit, saying his message was that "we have to get ready, we have to prepare and we have to believe in ourselves".

"The reason I have set October 31 as a hard deadline and we have got to go for it is that we have had enough of defeatism and negativity from this Government.

"People have had enough of being told they can't do X, Y or Z when we know perfectly well that we can."

His rival Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, called on all sides to "dial down the rhetoric" in the debate on Brexit.

He dismissed comments by the Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe likening Brexit to the emancipation of the slaves.

"Ann Widdecombe is not in the British Government, she is not even in the Conservative Party," he said.

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Tory leadership contest timetable (PA Graphics)

He added: "I think there has been some terrible rhetoric on the EU side about the United Kingdom which has been the biggest friend to the European Union the whole time we have been in it, which has defended Europe with our armed forces.

"So I think we have to dial down the rhetoric on all sides and come to a sensible way forward that allows us to leave the European Union cleanly and also be the best of friends afterwards."

Mr Hunt is pledging to set out his plans to overhaul the social care system within 100 days of entering No 10 if he wins the leadership race.

The former health secretary said he regarded reform of the adult social care system as "unfinished business".

Tory leadership race
Boris Johnson said he will make Britain the greatest place on Earth (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He said he would publish his proposals – including incentives to encourage people to save for their care needs in the way they do for pensions – in a Green Paper.

His promise came after a House of Lords committee warned that it would need £8 billion a year to fix the underfunding in the system.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson said he will make Britain "the greatest place on Earth" if he succeeds in gaining the keys to 10 Downing Street.

With some party members already reportedly having received their postal ballot papers – two days earlier than previously expected – Mr Johnson said he was "fighting for every vote".

"I'm taking nothing for granted," the former foreign secretary – seen as the clear front-runner – told the Daily Telegraph.

"It's time to drive for the line, keeping the ball at the back of the scrum. I'm fighting for every vote and campaigning flat out and will be from now until the end."

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