May Insists UK Cabinet United as Johnson Rocks Boat on Brexit – Bloomberg

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to assert her authority over a divided Conservative Party as she faces calls to quit as its leader before the next general election. 

While May insists she will fight on, a former party chairman said she could not be allowed to stay until the next election in 2022, amid reports that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson believes she will be gone within a year.

In a BBC Television interview on Sunday, May ducked the question over whether Johnson is now impossible to fire after his latest outburst on Brexit, in which he set new demands for the negotiations with the European Union. She insisted Johnson and the rest of her cabinet are agreed on her Brexit policy, which she set out in a speech in Florence, Italy, on Sept. 22.

“What I have is a cabinet that are united in the mission of this government,” May said on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” before the start of the Conservatives’ annual conference in Manchester, northwest England. “Boris is absolutely behind the Florence speech and the line that we have taken.”

May is attending the first gathering of party members and lawmakers since her disastrous decision to call a snap election cost the Conservatives their majority in Parliament in June. The failure of her campaign severely undermined May’s authority over the party, but she insisted in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph newspaper that she will stay on as leader to fight the next election.

The Sunday Times, however, reported that Johnson believes May will be ousted within 12 months. The foreign secretary is himself facing calls for his removal after making his own demands for Brexit policy public, in what was seen as another direct challenge to May’s leadership. 

‘Red Lines’

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