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Boris Johnson Says Brexit Deadline Must Not Be Seen as 'Phony'

Boris Johnson Says Brexit Deadline Must Not Be Seen as 'Phony'

The outgoing PM, who will be exiting Downing Street to make way for Hunt or Johnson by July 23, said she felt a "mixture of pride and disappointment" and that despite having to go earlier than she wanted, she had been the "right person" for the job and was "immensely proud" of what she had accomplished.

But asked to commit to a female MP taking one of them as he faced party members in the latest hustings in Wyboston, Bedfordshire he would only go as far as saying he "would not be surprised" if it would happen.

"Prime ministers should only make promises they know they can deliver", he added.

"I'm not going to give you those commitments", Mr Hunt said in the BBC interview. He added: "When the country voted to leave the European Union, of course, there is a requirement to implement that but I think we need to do it in a way that takes full account of the impact on real people's lives and do everything we can to ensure it doesn't visit harm on them".

Members of her Conservative Party are voting on her successor, with the victor scheduled to be announced July 23.

Mr Hunt has said that he believes he would be able to get a new deal with Brussels, but if that proved impossible, he would prepare for no deal on 31 October, making a judgment on the best course to follow at the end of September. Johnson and Hunt braced for the release of a grilling by the BBC's Andrew Neil as the Conservative leadership contest begins to draw to a close.

During the exchanges, Mr Johnson said it would be "insane, now", to say the government might not deliver Brexit by Oct 31, in a hint that he could be prepared to accept a delay at a later date.

But pressed on whether the United Kingdom would be out by Christmas, he said: "I'm not going to give you those commitments..."

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'It's because prime ministers should only make promises they know they can deliver. A rare procedure known as proroguing parliament could be used to stop MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit in the House of Commons.

"They are based on the evidence that men and women up and down this country running businesses, working in businesses, have made it crystal clear to me what that means and I will always represent them", he said.

But the former foreign secretary insisted his comments in the debate had been "misrepresented" and denied withholding his backing.

The Metropolitan Police said this evening it had opened a criminal investigation into alleged leaking of official communications Mr Darroch.

"He said that what somebody had relayed to him had been a factor in his resignation", Mr Johnson said. "There are other things - I think I probably actually should have done the TV debates".

Clark is one of a clutch of cabinet ministers, alongside Hammond, justice secretary David Gauke and May's effective deputy David Lidington, who are thought likely to leave government for the backbenches because of Johnson's insistence that he will not appoint cabinet ministers who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit in any circumstances.

"So I think that I underestimated the unwillingness of parts some people in parliament to compromise".