Leaked WhatsApp messages reveal
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has called on his fellow MPs, who call themselves his “friends and allies”, to stop briefing the press against Prime Minister Theresa May because he doesn’t know who they are, leaked private messages have revealed.
Earlier today, an article in the Daily Telegraph had reported how unnamed backers of Johnson had said he may refuse to move if May would try to demote him in a reshuffle. Another supposed ally was quoted as saying that moving Johnson would go down “like a bucket of cold sick” with pro-Brexit voters.
Other “allies” said that there was now a “stench of death” emanating from Downing Street.
Fed up with these media reports, the foreign secretary took to WhatsApp group of the Conservative MPs today to slam these unnamed “sinister band of imposters”.
In his message, which can be seen on Guido Fawkes website, Johnson said he did not support such briefings: “Folks I have seen yet more stuff in the Telegraph and the Sun purporting to come from so-called friends and allies of mine,” his message declares.
Johnson goes on to say that he is “fed up to the back teeth” by his so-called “friends and allies” who were being quoted in the media: “I heartily disagree with the sense, tone and spirit of what they are quoted as saying. Whoever they are they do not speak for me.”
Johnson’s clarification has being backed by Crispin Blunt, who told Sky News today that the foreign secretary had supported May in his conference speech and now in the WhatsApp message: “He’s declaring his loyalty, as he did in his speech, and he’s declaring it privately. And somehow that’s machinations.”
Talking about the media sources, Blunt said: “Who are these people? They’re not friends of Boris’s, as far as I’m aware. I’m absolutely certain from what I know that Boris doesn’t want this nonsense to be going on.”
Johnson has earlier been accused of undermining May by putting forward his own vision for Brexit. However, a spokesman for the Prime Minister clarified on Monday that May has full confidence in Johnson, a media report states.