POLITICS

Boris Johnson, Ambushed By Reporters In New York, Says He Will Not Be Resigning

Foreign secretary at odds with prime minister over Brexit.

19/09/2017 13:59 BST

Boris Johnson has insisted he is not resigning from the cabinet, amid reports he is prepared to walk out over Theresa May’s Brexit plan.

The foreign secretary was ambushed by journalists in New York after he returned from a run.

Asked if he was going to resign, Johnson said: “No.”

“We are a government working together, we are a nest of singing birds,” he added. 

The Daily Telegraph reported earlier on Tuesday that Johnson would quit the government before the weekend if the prime minister decides to sign the UK up to permanent single market membership.

PA Wire/PA Images

Speculation about Johnson’s future erupted over the weekend when he used a column in the Telegraph to outline a 4,000-word personal vision for Brexit.

May and Johnson are both in New York for a meeting of the United Nations. 

The prime minister attempted to stamp her authority on her foreign secretary by telling reporters “this government is driven from the front”.

However veteran Tory Ken Clarke this morning said the fact Johnson had not been fired showed how weak May was.

“Normally a foreign secretary would be sacked instantly,” he said of Johnson’s intervention.

May is will deliver a high profile speech on Brexit in Florence on Friday. She is due to inform her ministers on its contents at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Lord Hague, the former Tory leader and foreign secretary, today warned that unless May could unite the cabinet behind her Jeremy Corbyn would end up as prime minister.