Boris Johnson says he is out of Tory party leadership race after Gove challenge – as it happened

Last modified: 10: 49 PM GMT+0

Follow live coverage and get the latest news as leadership elections in Britain’s main parties get under way in earnest

Evening summary

That’s about it for our live coverage of Thursday’s momentous political events - thanks for reading. Here’s a recap of the day’s main events:

  • Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Stephen Crabb complete the line-up for the leadership election.
  • Angela Eagle did not announce her bid for the Labour leadership as expected. The party has gained some 60,000 new members in the past week, bringing the total to about 440,000 - more than at level in 1997.

The Guardian’s Lisa O’Carroll has been watching Newsnight so we don’t have to.

Wow.... Boris?. "As a national treasure yes, but as a politician, busted,"Boris Johnson's former spokesman on Newsnight @Guto_Harri

— lisa o'carroll (@lisaocarroll) June 30, 2016

Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire notes:

Now that's awkward: Mail columnist Sarah "Mrs Gove" Vine's paper backs his rival Theresa May

— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) June 30, 2016

DAILY MAIL FRONT PAGE: 'Tory day of treachery' #skypapers

— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 30, 2016

Friday’s front page of the Sun sticks the knife into Boris Johnson, following the lead of Michael Gove:

Friday's Sun: "Brexecuted" #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers (via @hendopolis)

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 30, 2016

Neither is the Telegraph any kinder to Johnson:

Friday's Telegraph: "An act of midnight treachery" #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers (via @hendopolis)

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 30, 2016

David and Samantha Cameron at Il Posto restaurant.
David and Samantha Cameron at Il Posto restaurant. Photograph: Rick Findler/PA

As the five candidates for the Tory leadership sought to win support from MPs tonight, David Cameron and his wife Samantha popped into Il Posto on Vauxhall Bridge Road near Victoria station for a spot of dinner. He had earlier attended a memorial service to commemorate the Battle of the Somme at Westminster Abbey.

The PM declined to comment on Thursday’s twists and turns in the race to succeed him.

No word, either, on what the Camerons ate at the Italian restaurant, which - according to its website - was established in 1892. “The ambiance (sic) is friendly and relaxed,” it also notes. “A favourite haunt for locals and visitors.”

Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman responds to ITV News presenter Tom Bradby’s quip about BoJo.

I'll take a bet with you he'll leave politics

— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) June 30, 2016

I wonder if Boris will, one way or another, end up on Top Gear...

— tom bradby (@tombradby) June 30, 2016

If you’re looking for a laugh - if that’s quite the right word - take a stroll back through Boris Johnson’s Twitter account, full of gems like this one:

Please Vote Leave on Thursday, because we'll never get this chance again:

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 20, 2016

Election analyst and blogger Mike Smithson says Andrea Leadsom is moving up the ranks.

Andrea Leadsom now 2nd favourite on Betfair exchange as sentiment moves away from Gove

— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) June 30, 2016

More on the surge in Labour party membership from political editor Heather Stewart:

Are new Lab members signing up in droves to back Corbyn in any leadership contest - or to oust him? Both rebels and backers are recruiting.

— Heather Stewart (@GuardianHeather) June 30, 2016

Theresa May is at the US ambassador’s London residence, Winfield House, for the annual Fourth of July celebration tonight. I ask her if she’d give Boris Johnson a job in her cabinet. “I’m not offering any jobs at the moment,” she replies.

ITV political editor Robert Peston tweets:

Sources tell me Gove urgently wooing @George_Osborne to stay on as chancellor if he wins.

— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 30, 2016

And for balance, something on Labour too from Peston:

Number of Labour joiners in past week is 60,000. Bloody hell. If most joining to defend Corbyn, scary for estranged MPs (& vice versa)

— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 30, 2016


The bloc of 13 Scottish Labour MSPs who have backed demands for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down includes two former Scottish party leaders – Iain Gray and Johann Lamont – who both resigned after suffering humiliating election defeats, and Anas Sarwar, formerly deputy leader under Jim Murphy and once acting Scottish Labour leader.

Their decision to support the Corbyn rebellion en masse, following party leader Kezia Dugdale’s lead from yesterday, opens up a schism inside the Labour group at Holyrood.

Three leftwing colleagues – deputy leader Alex Rowley; Nick Findlay, a former leadership hopeful; and former GMB official Richard Leonard – issued their own joint statement backing Corbyn earlier on Thursday. Earlier this week, Corbyn was backed by the only openly pro-Brexit Labour MSP in Holyrood, Elaine Smith.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale with Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan at a remain event the day before last week’s EU referendum.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale with Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan at a remain event the day before last week’s EU referendum. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The new anti-Corbyn letter refers to the rebellion against his leadership at Westminster: “As parliamentarians, and the elected representatives in a parliament representing millions of people – including Labour voters – across Scotland, we would expect any leader to reflect seriously on such a substantial vote of no confidence. As Kezia Dugdale rightly said, if she could not command the confidence of 80% of her Labour Group then she would consider her position …

“[It] is deeply regrettable that we have to make such a statement, but for the good of the party and, more importantly, the country, we believe Jeremy Corbyn, who is a principled man, must do the right thing and allow the party to once again provide effective opposition and regroup as a credible party of government.”

The other signatories include Jackie Baillie, Claire Baker, Claudia Beamish, Neil Bibby, Mary Fee (Scottish parliament Labour group chair), Mark Griffin, Daniel Johnson, James Kelly, Lewis Macdonald and Colin Smyth.


Energy minister Andrea Leadsom
Energy minister Andrea Leadsom has about 10 backers so far in the Tory leadership race - some distance behind Theresa May. Photograph: Matt Frost/Rex/Shutterstock

With the first vote to whittle down the five Conservative leadership candidates to two coming on Tuesday, the five hopefuls are frantically wooing fellow MPs for support.

Michael Gove, the surprise last-minute entrant to the race, spent Thursday meeting colleagues to persuade them to back him, with a series shifting their support from the departed Boris Johnson to him, including Dominic Raab, Nick Boles and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Theresa May was also busy gathering pledges of backing. A Guardian interim tally of which Tory MPs had publicly backed the five candidates showed May was by far the leader with about 70 supporters.

Gove had little more than a dozen backers, though more than 30 former Johnson supporters had yet to reveal their new choice. About half the 330 Conservative MPs had said either nothing or promised to consult constituents and ponder the various candidates’ merits before deciding, so this total seems set to rise.

Stephen Crabb, the work and pensions secretary, was also doing well, with about 20 MPs saying they would back him. The other two candidates are lagging behind: Andrea Leadsom, the fiercely pro-Brexit energy secretary, has about 10 backers; Liam Fox, the other hopeful, had just four – the MPs who had nominated and seconded him, and two others.


Kwasi Kwarteng.
Kwasi Kwarteng MP. Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

Several Tory MPs have been speaking to Channel 4 News.

Kwasi Kwarteng switched his support from Boris Johnson to Theresa May, accusing Michael Gove of “student politics”. The MP for Spelthorne added: “I think Michael Gove has behaved in an extraordinary way. I feel very let down.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who switched from backing Johnson to Gove, told Channel 4: “I think [Gove] wanted to support Boris and decided he couldn’t. I think people in politics are entitled to change their mind.”

Meanwhile Nadhim Zahawi, who had been a prominent supporter of Johnson, also switched his support to the home secretary. In a Huffington Post article he said: “I have been convinced today by Theresa May that she is the one to deliver. This is a time for experience, and Mrs May has the most of those on offer.”

Lisa Nandy speaks at the Labour party conference in Brighton last September.
Lisa Nandy speaks at the Labour party conference in Brighton last September. Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex Shutterstock

Labour MPs have been urged to contact the police about threatening behaviour amid reports that the attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn has resulted in some politicians receiving death threats.

Sarah Mulholland, the parliamentary Labour party’s director of political services, writes in an email: “It is clear that some of our MPs are currently experiencing abuse and threats. As per the security briefings, this information should be passed to the police immediately.”

She says the party wants to monitor the situation so is asking MPs to pass on information. In the note, seen by the Guardian, she acknowledges that many Labour MPs are facing a challenging time.

Vicky Foxcroft MP revealed that she had been threatened with violence if she refused to back Corbyn, Lisa Nandy said that colleagues had been bullied and harassed, while John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, responded to complaints by urging supporters not to protest outside MPs offices.


Author and former Telegraph journalist Robert Colville gets a football analogy into the mix:

Until recently, it would have been as crazy to bet on a Tory leadership shortlist w/out Boris and Osborne as on Leicester winning the league

— Robert Colvile (@rcolvile) June 30, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn - who is still the Labour leader in case you were wondering - was engulfed in a fresh row over Israel earlier today when he appeared to compare the government of Binyamin Netanyahu to Islamic extremists. His comments came at the launch of an independent review into antisemitism in the Labour party.

Paul Waugh, the Huffington Post’s politics executive editor, tweets:

Exclusive: Emily Thornberry phoned Israeli ambassador in London to apologise for any offence caused by Corbyn remarks today.

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 30, 2016

Turning back to the Labour turmoil for a moment, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones makes an interesting observation: Someone registered angela4leader on Saturday - two days before Angela Eagle resigned...

— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) June 30, 2016

The European parliament building in Strasbourg, France.
The European parliament building in Strasbourg, France. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Europe now has yet another reason to grumble about the UK’s Brexit vote: it has prompted credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s to cut its credit rating for the European Union.

S&P Global Ratings said it was lowering its long-term rating on the European Union from AA+ to AA after the vote to leave triggered “greater uncertainty” over the EU’s revenue forecasting, long-term capital planning and adjustment to key financial buffers.

The agency said it had to review its “previously favourable opinion of solidarity within the EU” from positive to neutral because its previous view was based on all 28 member states remaining inside the EU. The outlook was stable despite the “greater uncertainty”, S&P added.


In Wroclaw in west Poland, the UK’s Brexit decision has been met with bewilderment and regret. Szymon Rozwadowski, a 25-year-old welder, said he had been shocked by how British politicians had fought the Vote Leave campaign.

“It feels like the British politicians lied and none of them actually wanted to leave, but they won anyway. I hope people realised that the politicians didn’t care about them, just their own careers,” he said.

Rozwadowski said he was also surprised by the political response in the week since the referendum: “Now Cameron has put down the whole thing and run off. Everyone has run off. It was a democratic choice, though, and that is important.”

Michal Draszanowski, 27, a bank worker, said that his friends had been shocked by the British vote and were now concerned that the EU might break up. “We were all very surprised. The British people didn’t think about the long-term effects. I think the decision will affect us all and it is very sad,” he said.

Rafal Bielewicz, 28, a colleague of Draszanowski, said that he hoped that European leaders would work together to resolve the situation. “It was not a good decision by the UK at all,” he said. “I think they voted without thinking about the effects, for Europe or the UK.”

Rafal Bielewicz
Rafal Bielewicz. Photograph: Holly Watt/The Guardian

“It is very bad for Poland because a lot of people travel to Britain and now they may have to come back to Poland,” Bielewicz added. “It is important for Europe to work together, because of the political situation, but I worry that everything could be destroyed now.”

Ilona Krlol, a 32-year-old florist working at her stand in the town square said that she was concerned for her friends and family in England. Arranging flowers for a bouquet, she said that her Polish friends in the UK were worried about their future in England.

Ilona Krlol
Ilona Krlol. Photograph: Holly Watt/The Guardian

Krlol was astonished by reports that people were trying to find out the implications of voting to leave Europe only after they had cast their vote: “People voted to go out and then they were trying to work out what it means,” she said. “You look at them and you say, ‘What are you doing?’”


With Johnson out of the race, Theresa May appears to have built a commanding lead in winning the support of the 329 Tory MPs to become the next Tory leader and thus prime minister. She and her four rivals – Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Stephen Crabb – have until Tuesday to drum up support.

Whichever of the hopefuls proves least popular is eliminated until just two remain from whom the wider Conservative party membership will choose. Bookmakers make May the odds-on favourite to be the next PM, with Gove the clear favourite to be her rival. Fox is set to win the fewest backers, behind Leadsom and Crabb.

Theresa May arriving for her campaign launch this morning.
Theresa May arriving for her campaign launch this morning. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Here’s a list of MPs whose allegiances have been verified by the Press Association so far:

Theresa May (42 MPs):
Peter Aldous, Lucy Allan, Stuart Andrew, Caroline Ansell, Edward Argar, Harriett Baldwin, Karen Bradley, Robert Buckland, James Cartlidge, Damian Collins, Tracey Crouch, Byron Davies, Mims Davies, Caroline Dinenage, Mike Freer, Edward Garnier, Mark Garnier, Nusrat Ghani, Chris Grayling (Proposer), Justine Greening (Seconder), Oliver Heald, George Hollingbery, John Howell, Ben Howlett, David Jones, Brandon Lewis, David Mackintosh, Alan Mak, David Mundell, Mike Penning, Claire Perry, Chris Philp, Sir Eric Pickles, Mark Pritchard, Amber Rudd, Julian Smith, Sir Nicholas Soames, Anna Soubry, Mark Spencer, Caroline Spelman, Maggie Throup, Stuart Andrew.

Michael Gove (7 MPs):
Michael Fabricant, Andrea Jenkyns, Daniel Kawczynski, Nicky Morgan (Proposer),
Dominic Raab (Seconder), Ed Vaizey, Shailesh Vara.

Stephen Crabb (10 MPs):
Alun Cairns, Sajid Javid (Proposer), Johnny Mercer, Mark Pawsey, Chloe Smith (Seconder), Gary Streeter, Julian Sturdy, Craig Williams, Mike Wood, Jeremy Wright.

Andrea Leadsom (9 MPs):
Steve Baker, John Baron, Julian Brazier, Penny Mordaunt (Proposer), Anne Marie Morris, James Morris, Tom Pursglove, Martin Vickers, William Wragg (Seconder).

Liam Fox (2 MPs):
Robert Goodwill (Proposer), Scott Mann (Seconder).


Newsnight’s political editor, Nick Watt (formerly of this parish), tweets this insight from Nadhim Zahawi (the Tory MP for Stratford-on-Avon) ahead of tonight’s programme:

Boris Johnson ally @nadhimzahawi tells me BJ bowed out saying: I am not doing a @jeremycorbyn I am not splitting party. Details #newsnight

— Nicholas Watt (@nicholaswatt) June 30, 2016


Guardian political editor Heather Stewart tweets:

Ouch: one of Boris's key lieutenants is not best pleased with Gove...

— Heather Stewart (@GuardianHeather) June 30, 2016

"There a number of people who have said to me during the week: Michael, it should be you."

— Heather Stewart (@GuardianHeather) June 30, 2016

Afternoon Summary

  • Tory grandee Lord Heseltine launched a stinging attack on Johnson after he quit the race, accusing him of having “ripped the Tory party apart” and creating “the greatest constitutional crisis in peacetime in my life” and then walking away. He insisted there must be “consequences” for the former mayor of London. Others also criticised him, including the actor Ewan McGregor who decried him as “spineless”, saying he had left it to someone else to “clear up your mess”.
  • Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Stephen Crabb complete the line-up for the leadership election. Leadsom, a prominent leave campaigner, announced her candidature in a tweet on Thursday morning, saying: “Let’s make the most of the Brexit opportunities!” Fox and Crabb had already announced they were standing. Fox told Sky News he would not back any deal with the EU that involves keeping free movement of people. Nicky Morgan and Jeremy Hunt said they would not be standing and would be backing Gove and May respectively.
  • The launch of a report into anti-semitism in the Labour party has been overshadowed by criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. He was accused of comparing Israel to Isis when he said: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those various self-styled Islamic States or organisations”. Corbyn denied he was making such a comparison in answer to a question. The chief rabbi of Britain said they were offensive, however intended. But the chair of the antisemitism inquiry, Shami Chakrabarti, said the media had “spun” Corbyn’s comments. The report, endorsed by Corbyn, said Labour members “should resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine”.
  • The Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth called on Corbyn to resign after he failed to intervene when she was verbally abused by a Momentum activist at the same antisemitism event. Smeeth, who resigned as parliamentary private secretary to the shadow Scotland and Northern Ireland offices, left the event in tears. She said that Corbyn’s inaction showed “that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews”.
  • Angela Eagle did not announce her bid for the Labour leadership, as had been expected. But she is said to already have the 50 nominations from Labour MPs and MEPs needed to mount a challenge under party rules. Corbyn was hit by another resignation as Rob Marris resigned from his role in the shadow Treasury team during the committee stage hearings on the Finance Bill.


Gove has told the BBC he only made his decision to run last night.

He said:

There were a number of people that said to me during the week: ‘It should be you.’

Gove repeats his assertion that he did not think Johnson was up to the job and claims he will be a unifying candidate. He claims people from both sides (leave and remain) have commended his decision to stand, so affirming it.

He wants to lead a government with “wise heads and generous hearts”.

There are far too many people who feel left behind ... I want to heal and unite.


It never rains, it pours:

Jeremy Corbyn has just released a statement. In which he spells his own name wrong.

— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) June 30, 2016

Three senior and influential Labour MSPs on the left of the Scottish parliamentary party have attacked critics of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, accusing them of “exploiting” the membership and treating it as an electoral plaything.

Alex Rowley, the party’s deputy leader at Holyrood, Neil Findlay, a previous Scottish leadership contender, and Richard Leonard, a senior GMB Scotland official who joined Holyrood in May’s election, issued a joint statement saying the current feud has “broken the hearts” of party members across the UK.

In a riposte to the unified position taken against Corbyn by Scottish party leader Kezia Dugdale and her ally Ian Murray, Scotland’s only Labour MP, who resigned as shadow Scottish secretary in the first stages of the shadow cabinet rebellion on Sunday, the trio said:

Labour party members are not passive onlookers to be used and exploited at election time, only to be ignored thereafter – they are the lifeblood of our party, we are nothing without them.

Democracy wherever it is found is a precious thing – we therefore want to make it clear that we wish to uphold the democratic rights of Labour party members and support the democratically elected leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Barack Obama has suggested Brexit may not actually happen:

Obama suggests Brexit may not actually happen


Shami Chakrabarti, the chair of Labour’s antisemitism inquiry, has accused the media of spinning Jeremy Corbyn’s comments at today’s event, which have seen him accused of comparing Israel with Islamic State.

The former Liberty chair told LBC radio:

I’m sorry that there are a few things that have been spun in the media ... have kind of cast a shadow over two months’ really hard, open-hearted work ...

I learned something today.

I’ll take my chances in the broadcast media ... if things get spun in print, whether in the old-fashioned papers or online. Trust your ears or your eyes ... it’s harder to spin in broadcast than it is in words.

I read the leader’s speech five minutes before we went into the main room ... I listened very carefully to what he said.

He reflected my report.

His point was: when you have Jewish neighbours or friends, or Muslim neighbours or friends and something bad happens in the world, don’t ask them to be the first to explain or defend or condemn.

She also said that he had no editorial control over his speech.

The chief rabbi has joined in the criticism of Corbyn. Ephraim Mirvis said:

The comments by the leader of the Labour party at the launch, however they were intended, are themselves offensive, and rather than rebuilding trust among the Jewish community, are likely to cause even greater concern. Full and unhesitating implementation of the report’s findings must now follow. I call upon the Labour party to guarantee that there will be zero tolerance of antisemitism.

Jeremy Corbyn Speaks On Labour’s antisemitism inquiry findings
Jeremy Corbyn speaks on Labour’s antisemitism inquiry findings.
Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images


Jeremy Corbyn has struck a defiant tone in an email to Labour party members, which includes a plea for unity.

He writes:

United we stand, divided we fall is one of the oldest and truest slogans of the Labour movement.

After last week’s referendum, our country faces major challenges. Risks to the economy and living standards are growing. The public is split.

The government is in disarray. Ministers have made it clear they have no exit plan, but are determined to make working people pay with a new round of cuts and tax rises.

Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the government will not. We need to bring people together, hold the government to account, oppose austerity and set out a path to exit that will protect jobs and incomes.

To do that we need to stand together. Since I was elected leader of our party nine months ago, we have repeatedly defeated the government over its attacks on living standards. Last month, Labour become the largest party in the local elections. In Thursday’s referendum, a narrow majority voted to leave, but two thirds of Labour supporters backed our call for a remain vote.

I was elected leader of our party, for a new kind of politics, by 60% of Labour members and supporters. The need for that different approach now is greater than ever.

Our people need Labour party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite. As leader it is my continued commitment to dedicate our party’s activity to that goal.


The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has signalled possible interest rate cuts following the Brexit vote, saying some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer. You can follow Carney’s speech on our business live blog.

This is how the pound has reacted to Carney's announcement of the possibility of more QE.

— Kiran Stacey (@kiranstacey) June 30, 2016


You might see this replayed quite a lot in the coming weeks:

ICYMI here's Mr Gove telling us he wouldn't make a very good PM and wd happily confirm in blood he doesn't want it..

— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) June 30, 2016

Israel’s former foreign minister has joined in the criticism of Jeremy Corbyn over his choice of words at the launch of Labour’s antisemitism report earlier today.

Corbyn's words imply a serious lack of moral judgement. Just as all Muslims are not to blame for ISIS, not all Brits are to blame for Corbyn

— ציפי לבני (@Tzipi_Livni) June 30, 2016


There’s been another resignation by a shadow minister, accompanied by a call for Jeremy Corbyn to go.

This time it’s Rob Marris, who was appointed shadow financial secretary to the Treasury in September.

Rob Marris resigns as shadow treasury minister and calls on Jeremy Corbyn to resign. The pressure continues...

— Sophy Ridge (@SophyRidgeSky) June 30, 2016


And the Labour resignations are continuing. This is from the Sun’s Craig Woodhouse.

Labour resignations have started again: Rob Marris as Treasury frontbencher, during Finance Bill committee

— Craig Woodhouse (@craigawoodhouse) June 30, 2016

I’ve got to finish for the day now. But my colleague Haroon Siddique is still here and will be blogging for the rest of the day.

Here is more on the Johnson/Gove fallout.

From Sky’s Sophy Ridge

Tory MP & former Boris backer: "Michael has behaved badly towards Boris.I'm not sure people will feel they can trust him after this morning"

— Sophy Ridge (@SophyRidgeSky) June 30, 2016

From the BBC’s Ross Hawkins

View from small unscientific sample of Cons MPs - much distrust of Gove after morning's events, he needs to be handshaking & reassuring

— Ross Hawkins (@rosschawkins) June 30, 2016

From ITV’s Chris Ship

Boris was trying to get @andrealeadsom on his team (they did @ITV & @bbc debates together). But she pulled out overnight & made her own bid

— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) June 30, 2016

From the FT’s Sebastian Payne

Jacob Rees-Mogg has switched his support from Boris Johnson to Michael Gove

— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) June 30, 2016


The Tory grandee Michael Heseltine has really put the boot into Boris Johnson for pulling out of the leadership race, accusing him of ripping the party apart and creating “the greatest constitutional crisis in peacetime in my life”.

Here's what Lord Heseltine had to say about Boris Johnson pulling out of leadership race

— Sophie Barnes (@sophieevebarnes) June 30, 2016


Theresa May will be pleased with this.

Our colleagues in Germany are seeing parallels between Theresa May and the German chancellor

— Jack Sommers (@jack_sommers) June 30, 2016

Here is an extract from George Parker’s account of the Gove/Johnson fallout for the Financial Times.

Stories circulated that Mr Johnson had failed to attend a meeting with about 50 pro-Remain Conservative MPs. Key people, including the prominent pro-Brexit minister Andrea Leadsom, had failed to commit to his campaign. “Michael tried to make Boris’s campaign work but it was becoming clear it wasn’t going to work,” the ally said. “He wasn’t giving people the love or attention or making the offers to people that were required.”

Mr Gove’s friends say that a convoluted Daily Telegraph article written by Mr Johnson on Monday had added to a sense of concern among Conservative MPs about his leadership qualities, but allies of the former London mayor said the piece was “sub-edited by Michael”. Mr Johnson’s backers also deny he was responsible for chaos in the leadership bid, saying that Mr Gove was in charge of the campaign, including arranging meetings with MPs and signing up new backers.


Boris Johnson’s father has likened Michael Gove to the assassins who murdered Julius Caesar.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, when asked about Gove’s intervention, Stanley Johnson quoted Caesar’s supposed last words after he was stabbed by his former friend Brutus.

‘Et tu Brute’ is my comment on that. I don’t think he is called Brutus, but you never know.

Johnson senior said his son had been taken by surprise by Gove’s disparaging assessment of his ability to lead the country.

This has obviously been a very, very stressful time. I think he was probably very surprised by Michael Gove’s sudden move as indeed many people are.

He backed the remain campaign but maintained that his son had made a brilliant “career move” in putting himself at the head of the leave campaign.

Boris’s career move I think was in a sense an absolutely brilliant move in one way because it did put on the table crucial issues for the British electorate.

It put on the table the immigration issue, the direction of travel issue, the sovereignty issue - all those things.

Boris Johnson sits next to his father Stanley (left) on the tube
Boris Johnson sits next to his father Stanley (left) on the tube. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA


The Labour MP Ruth Smeeth has urged Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately, accusing him of a “catastrophic failure of leadership”, after he failed to defend her when she was abused at the launch of a report into antisemitism in the party. In a statement she said:

I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy’. It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms [Shami] Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing.

People like this have no place in our party or our movement and must be opposed. Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews.

Smeeth said that she has written to the general secretary of the Labour party and the chair of the parliamentary Labour party to complain about the events. She continued:

No one from the leader’s office has contacted me since the event, which is itself a catastrophic failure of leadership. I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country.

Smeeth resigned as parliamentary private secretary the shadow Northern Ireland and Scotland teams on Monday.


The former German chancellor Helmut Kohl has warned European leaders against applying too much pressure on Britain, in the wake of the vote for Brexit.

In an account of an interview for the tabloid newspaper Bild by its editor-in-chief, Kai Diekmann, Kohl, 86, is indirectly quoted as warning against “unnecessary severity and haste” in the post-referendum negotiations.

The man who was one of the driving forces behind European integration in the 1990s believes that slamming the door on Britain would be an “enormous mistake” and that the country needs time to decide what it wants to do next, Diekmann writes.

Kohl, who oversaw the reunification of Germany and the introduction of the euro, is calling for Europe to “take a breather” and take “one step back before taking two steps forward”, at a pace that is manageable for all member states, the article says.

I’m hearing strong rumours that some of the “core loyal” Corbyn supporters are planning to tell him that they think it’s time to go.

Emma Reynolds, chair of the parliamentary Labour party’s (PLP’s) health committee, has written to the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol to complain about John McDonnell in response to an article in the Guardian about the shadow chancellor setting up a secret group of advisers to help shape Labour’s stance on the NHS.

She writes:

It has been reported in today’s Guardian that John McDonnell has set up a parallel organisation to formulate health policy. As you can see from the article, members of other political parties, including somebody who stood in competition with one of our party’s parliamentary candidates, are members of this organisation:

I would like to formally complain against John McDonnell. I would also like to seek your advice as to whether, in setting up this parallel organisation and working with members of other political parties, he is breaking any of the party rules or the PLP code of conduct.

This is a video of Jeremy Corbyn at Labour’s anti-semitism event earlier today, when he was accused of comparing Israel with Islamic State:

Jeremy Corbyn: judge people on values and actions

At least one person thinks his future is secure for the forseeable future:

Dan Hodges just tweeted that Corbyn is about to resign, so presumably he'll be leader until 2025.

— Jonn Elledge (@JonnElledge) June 30, 2016

Understand Corbyn on edge of resigning.

— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) June 30, 2016

Eagle launch definitely pulled. Want to give Corbyn space do decent thing.

— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) June 30, 2016


Timetable for Tory leadership ballots

Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench, has announced that the first vote in the Conservative leadership contest will take place on Tuesday next week, 5 July.

In theory the voting will go like this.

Tuesday 5 July: Ballot with 5 candidates. The one who comes last drops out.

Thursday 7 July: Ballot with 4 candidates. The one who comes last drops out.

Tuesday 12 July: Ballot with 3 candidates. The one who comes last drops out, and then the final two go to a ballot of the entire membership. The result of that vote will be announced on Friday 9 September.

So we will know who the final two candidates are by Tuesday week at the latest.

But, although it is only the candidate who comes bottom who has to drop out, it is not unusual for other candidates to drop out if they realise they have no hope of winning. If Theresa May and Michael Gove are far ahead of the other three candidates on Tuesday (which is very possible), it is possible that Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom could all drop out then,

Angela Eagle postpones Labour leadership challenge launch

Angela Eagle is definitely not launching her Labour leadership challenge today, it has been confirmed.

Source close to Angela Eagle confirms no launch today but she is DEFINITELY running. "Today's a day for the Tories. But she will stand"

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 30, 2016

The jokes are coming thick and fast.

The Eagle hasn't landed, but may take off next week. #labour

— Vicki Young (@BBCVickiYoung) June 30, 2016

The Eagle is stranded

— Matt Wells (@MatthewWells) June 30, 2016

And the Corbynistas are briefing against her.

Corbynista source on Eagle: "She's already the disunity candidate. Some of these people are just confirming why we lost two elections."

— Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido) June 30, 2016

Pro-JC Lab source: "Where Eagles Daren't...that's the movie title. Even she's not sure if she should run. Shes's a second rung Brownite"

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 30, 2016

Discussions on transitional arrangements for an independent Scotland to remain in the European Union (EU) after the UK leaves are taking place in Brussels, a former senior adviser to the European Commission (EC) has disclosed.

As the Press Association reports, Dr Kirsty Hughes told MSPs discussions are taking place about putting Scotland in a “transitional holding pen” after Brexit to avoid “an absurd out and then in process”.

She urged MSPs to hold a second independence referendum by summer 2017 at the latest, if it is judged to be in the best interests of Scotland, to allow the EU to start work on these transitional arrangements.

However, she warned the EU “does not want a mini-UK” and said Scotland is unlikely to keep the UK’s “awkward squad” opt-outs of the euro, justice and home affairs and the UK budget rebate.

Hughes, now an associate fellow of the Friends of Europe, told Holyrood’s European and External Relations Committee:

I talk to people in Brussels, off the record, who are talking about Scotland being in some sort of transitional holding pen.

It wouldn’t have a seat in the council of ministers until ratification of the treaties, but it wouldn’t have to go through an absurd out and then in process.

I go through all that for now because I think there is a timing issue.

If Scotland waits until nearly the end of the two years to say, ‘This isn’t okay and now we’re having an independence referendum’, you might not have had that and had time to have the negotiations with the rest of the UK on dissolving the union before the whole of the UK has left.

So, it’s obviously a very big political judgement about whether and when to call an independence referendum.

If it was only a question of logic, you would call it as soon as possible in my view.

You would call it, anyway, let’s say, by next summer because then you would have actually had the dissolution talks - if it was successful - with the UK before the UK left.

That would make it much easier for the EU to get into some of these transitional holding pen arrangements than otherwise.

For what it’s worth, here’s a snapshot from what’s going on in the Labour party. A source (who is not well disposed towards Jeremy Corbyn) says that Holborn and St Pancras Labour party debated a motion supporting Corbyn last night and that it was defeated by 44 votes to 35. Apparently soft left members who have supported Corbyn in the past swung against him because of his performance in the EU referendum. Sir Keir Starmer, the MP, criticised Corbyn not just for being lacklustre during the campaign, but also for saying on Friday morning that the government should trigger article 50 (starting the withdrawal process) immediately. That would limit the government’s room for manoeuvre, Starmer said. The Momentum organiser James Schneider was there and apparently was none too pleased ...

Lunchtime summary

  • Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Stephen Crabb complete the line-up for the leadership election. Leadsom, a prominent leave campaginer, announced her candidature in a tweet on Thursday morning, saying: “Let’s make the most of the Brexit opportunities!” Fox and Crabb had already announced they were standing. Fox told Sky News he would not back any deal with the EU involving keeping free movement of people. Nicky Morgan and Jeremy Hunt said they would not be standing and would be backing Michael Gove and Theresa May respectively.
  • The launch of a report into anti-semitism in the Labour party has been overshadowed by criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. He was accused of comparing Israel with Isis when he said: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those various self-styled Islamic States or organisations”. Corbyn denied he was making such a comparison in answer to a question. He was also accused of failing to intervene when Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth was abused by a Momentum activist at the event. The report , endorsed by Corbyn, said Labour members “should resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine”.


Here is the Guardian’s panel - Jonathan Freedland, Zoe Williams, Mary Dejevsky and Mark Wallace - on how Boris Johnson’s departure will affect the Conservative leadership contest.

And here’s an extract from Jonathan’s article.

The choice now is between, in Gove, a true Brexit believer and, in May, a candidate who today declared “Brexit means Brexit”. Those who had hoped that the next prime minister might look for a fudge, a way out of the 23 June verdict, need to lower their expectations – and accept that out might really mean out.

Turning to the Labour party for a moment, we were expecting an announcement this afternoon from Angela Eagle about challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership. But, according to Sky’s Jon Craig, that may be delayed.

Shad Cab member tells me probably no Angela Eagle launch today. Expects hustings between Eagle & Owen Smith on Mon to decide who will run.

— joncraigSKY (@joncraig) June 30, 2016

Dominic Raab on why Gove abandoned Johnson: 'we're picking a PM, not a school prefect'

Dominic Raab, the justice minister, was on the Daily Politics earlier explaining why he and his boss, Michael Gove, the justice secretary, decided they could no longer support Boris Johnson’s bid for the Conservative leadership. Along with Gove and Johnson, Raab was a leading leave campaigner.

Raab told the programme:

We were striving and struggling not just for a dream ticket, but a dream team ... We had certain reassurances about the team that were treated in a rather cavalier fashion - and you can see if you look at the runners and riders this morning the outcome of that ... Putting together a really strong unifying team was an absolute condition. When that fell away, I think that Michael felt things had changed ...

Boris was cavalier with assurances he made ... We’re picking a prime minister here to lead the country, not a school prefect.

Raab also explained why he was now backing Gove.

Michael Gove is the right leader for the country ... He can speak out to the aspirational underdog in our society, the kid from the council estate ... I also think when it comes to delivering on Brexit, we need someone with a passion but also the mastery of the detail. He combines both.

Dominic Raab.
Dominic Raab. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

My colleague Sam Coates from the Times (standing on the right, behind Norman Smith) found it hard to conceal his surprise after Boris Johnson’s announcement.

The lobby's reaction as expressed by @SamCoatesTimes

— Andrew Alexander (@andrew_alex) June 30, 2016

Here is the Tory MP Paul Scully on Boris Johnson’s announcement.

Gracious speech by @BorisJohnson pulling out of the race for leader. Hope he continues to play a big role.

— Paul Scully MP (@scullyp) June 30, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn is attracting more criticism over the anti-semitism event, where he was accused of comparing Israel with Isis.

From PA:

A Labour MP stormed out of a press conference staged by Jeremy Corbyn after being accused of colluding with the right-wing press by one of the leader’s grassroots supporters.

A clearly upset Ruth Smeeth had been at the launch of a report into anti-Semitism in the party when it was claimed she was in cahoots with The Daily Telegraph.

You sat there and watched our colleague Ruth Smeeth abused at a Labour event this morning. Your words are hollow.

— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) June 30, 2016


Stewart Jackson is another disappointed Brexit Tory MP

I feel terribly disappointed for Boris who on any event has made history and for whom the UK will be indebted. I'll make my choice on Monday

— Stewart Jackson MP (@Stewart4Pboro) June 30, 2016

These are from my colleague Martin Kettle.

Boris Johnson will be editor of the Daily Telegraph by Christmas

— Martin Kettle (@martinkettle) June 30, 2016

As Boris Johnson has a US passport maybe he is about to run for president instead

— Martin Kettle (@martinkettle) June 30, 2016

The Tory party has proved yet again it has PhD in ruthlessness. Labour hasn't even passed GCSE.

— Martin Kettle (@martinkettle) June 30, 2016

These are from the BBC’s Andrew Sinclair.

Boris supporter @JDjanogly "i'm dissappointed" @JamesCleverly fighting back tears "i'm gutted"

— Andrew Sinclair (@andrewpolitics) June 30, 2016

He is referring to Tory MPs Jonathan Djanogly and James Cleverly.

And Nadine Dorries, another pro-Johnson Conservative, was in tears, he says.

Boris supporter @NadineDorriesMP in tears at decision not to stand

— Andrew Sinclair (@andrewpolitics) June 30, 2016

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are both coming in for stick over today’s drama but for different reasons.

Rob Ford, professor of political science at Manchester University, says of Johnson:

Boris engineered the largest constitutional crisis in post-war history but won't even put his name forward to clear it up?

What. A. Prat.

— (((Rob Ford))) (@robfordmancs) June 30, 2016

Actor Ewan McGregor is none too impressed either..

@BorisJohnson You spineless c$&t You lead this ludicrous campaign to leave EU. Win, and now fuc& off to let someone else clear up your mess.

— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) June 30, 2016

I will say a bit not good of Boris to invite his supporters and strand them in public like that without telling them. Feel sorry Nadine now

— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) June 30, 2016

Although Jamie Oliver will be pleased.

As for Gove ...

One MP loyal to Boris:"What Michael Gove has done today will live on in political history for a long time. He's trashed his own reputation"

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 30, 2016

The Mirror quotes an unnamed friend of Johnson as saying:

Michael Gove has just been the most amazing shit.


James Wharton, a communities minister, who declared his support for Boris Johnson yesterday has said that he does not know who he will support now. He said:

I am disappointed but it is a fast moving political environment. I will now look at what other candidates will propose.

I had a private meeting with Boris on Monday where he gave me assurances about the sort of things I wanted to see for the north of England, for the way we will take the Northern Powerhouse forward.

I had specific, private assurances about projects that I wanted to see supported across the north. I will now wait to see what the other candidates will offer.

What the Gove camp say about why Gove abandoned Boris Johnson

Michael Gove decided late last night that he could no longer support Boris Johnson’s bid for the Tory leadership, according to sources familiar with what happened. Until very recently he had been clear that he would not stand himself. But he thought it would boil down to a contest between Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Having concluded he could not support Johnson, he was then reluctant to see May go unchallenged, because he thought there had to be a leave candidate. And so he decided to stand himself.

Gove tried to call Boris Johnson this morning to tell him, but could not get hold of him. But he did speak to Sir Lynton Crosby, who was running Johnson’s campaign, before releasing his statement to the media.

And that helps to explain why Gove decided he could not support Johnson. According to sources, Gove felt that Johnson did not have the “grip” necessary to run Number 10. Gove admired him as a campaigner. But, over the last week, as Gove and his allies worked with Johnson on Johnson’s leadership campaign, they became concerned by how chaotic he was. There were various people Johnson was supposed to bringing into the campaign who failed to come on board. Monday’s Telegraph article was not cleared with colleagues. Gove and his supporters felt the necessary structures were not there, and that this was because Johnson lacked the ability to run and organise an operation of this kind.

There has been speculation that Gove abandoned Johnson because he felt he was going to backtrack on Brexit (to be the leaver who delivered remain, as Nicholas Watt put it in his question to Theresa May earlier - see 10.11am.) Sources dismiss this; they say the problems with Johnson were organisational and managerial, not so much ideological. And they have also dismissed suggestions that Gove abandoned Johnson because the press barons Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre were refusing to support him (as Sarah Vine’s leaked email suggested). Murdoch and Dacre would have supported a Johnson bid which included Gove, they say.

And they insist that, just because Gove does not see Johnson as a suitable potential prime minister, that does not mean that he would not get a cabinet job in a Gove administration. Gove does rate Johnson - just not highly enough to want to put him in Number 10.


5 candidates in Conservative leadership contest

Here is the official list of contestants in the Tory leadership contest. Nominations closed at noon.

Here now are the official runners and riders (candidates, proposers, seconders) as announced by the 1922 Committee.

— Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) June 30, 2016

A Labour briefing says Michael Gove has gone on the record as saying he is “not equipped to be prime minister” and points out that he has ruled himself out of standing at least nine times.

It says:

In doing so [standing] Michael Gove has sent a message that he would rather the country get a prime minister who himself thinks he’s not up to the job than let one of his Tory rivals succeed.

In saying that he is better suited for the role than his other rivals, Michael Gove is in effect saying that they are not up to the job of prime minister. We know this because he doesn’t think he is up to the job and shouldn’t be doing it.

Among the quotes by Gove in the past which it cites are:

“I don’t think I have got that exceptional level of ability required to do the job.”

“I don’t have what it takes.”


“I am not equipped to be prime minister.” (World At One, BBC Radio 4, October 2012)

During his speech at the launch of the report into antisemitism in the Labour party, for which Jeremy Corbyn himself has received flak, the opposition leader attacked Gove’s language during the referendum campaign. He said:

The justice secretary Michael Gove compared pro-remain economists to Nazi collaborators, a startling example of the way in which the Nazi regime and the Holocaust can be minimalised, trivialised or even forgotten by ill-judged comparisons.


Boris Johnson's surprise announcement in full

Here is Johnson’s surprise announcement at the end of his speech. It came after he called for measures to cut inequality and spread opportunity.

That is the agenda for the next prime minister of this country.

Well, I must tell you, my friends, you who have waited faithfully for the punchline of this speech, that having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me.

My role will be to give every possible support to the next Conservative administration to make sure that we properly fulfil the mandate of the people that was delivered at the referendum and to champion the agenda that I believe in, to stick up for the forgotten people of this country.

And, if we do so, if we invest in our children and improve their life chances, if we continue to fuel the engines of social mobility, if we build on the great reforming legacy of David Cameron, if we invest in our infrastructure and we follow a sensible, one nation Conservative approach that is simultaneously tax-cutting and pro-enterprise, then I believe that this country can win and be better and more wonderful and, yes, greater than ever before.

Corbyn accused of comparing Israel with Isis

Meanwhile, the embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corby has put the cat among the pigeons at the launch of a report into antisemitism within the party with a quote which appeared to liken Israel to Islamic State (Isis):

Corbyn: "Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel than our Muslim friends are for the self-styled Islamic State"

— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) June 30, 2016

He then denied he was comparing them:

.@PolhomeEditor asking Corbyn whether he's comparing Israel to Isis. Corbyn says no. No questions taken from UK Jewish media. Shambolic

— Marcus Dysch (@MarcusDysch) June 30, 2016

They were not just a slip of the tongue either, as the remarks were in his prepared text (these are the words he actually used, the ones in the tweet were condensed):

Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the [Binyamin] Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of self-styled Islamic states or organisations.

Jewish supporters of Labour party, after Corbyn compares Israel to ISIS, during launch of report on antisemitism

— Gidon Shaviv (@GidonShaviv) June 30, 2016

Corbyn refused to take questions about his leadership travails.


He is not taking questions.

Johnson has finished his speech now.

Johnson pulls out of Tory leadership contest

Johnson says that this is the agenda for the next leader.

But that person will not be him.

Johnson says the biggest gains in life expectancy have been made in London amongst the poor.

He says the prophets of doom were wrong about Brexit.

He says London and the whole of the UK will flourish outside the EU. It is in the EU’s deal to negotiate a free trade deal, he says, while allowing the UK to take back control of its immigration system.

Johnson says the party needs to unite now. He wants the most talented people in the country to come together.

London has been transformed from relative stagnation to a dynamic economy.

He says he brought down crime. Deaths by fire were cut. And road traffic accidents came down to the lowest levels ever.

And, when you think that crime and accidents affect the poorest disproportionately, those are victories for social justice, he says.

He says he managed to build a record number of affordable homes.

And when he left office there were 44,000 sites in the city under construction.

Johnson says now is the chance to strike trade deals.

He says some countries have already been in touch.

And our friends in America can be at the front of the queue, he says.

He says he would like to tell people who come here, no matter what their race or religion, they are part of our great British family.

Immigrants should be welcome. And everyone, regardless of their sexuality, can get married. He says marriage equality is one of David Cameron’s finest achievements.

Boris Johnson launches his leadership bid

Boris Johnson says people voted to leave the EU last week. It was a cause he passionately supports.

This is our chance, he says. We need to create an economy where everyone benefits from success.

There are too many people who have not seen their wages rise. Or have seen them fall.

FTSE 100 bosses now receive 150 times as much as their workers. It used to be 50 times, he says.

He says he is no communist. But he wants a society where everyone has chance.

  • Johnson says government must tackle income inequality, which he says is too high.


Liam Fox set out his case to be the next Tory leader and prime minister on Sky News (quotes from Politics Home). Like everyone else, he tried to portray himself as the unifying candidate.

I think that we’ve just been through quite a traumatic period in our referendum and I think we need to try to heal the divisions on that and I think I can do that having been on the leave side of that equation but having many friends on the other side who were in the remain camp and all through that referendum I urged people to be civil and courteous to one another which I think is the tone we should also adopt, incidentally, in the leadership campaign.

He pointed to his experience outside politics (as a doctor) and his working class background. Fox also said he would not talk about the personalities in the contest “tempting though that is”, describing them all as friends.

I think we’ve just broken free from the EU into a much wider, greater opportunity, one that Britain is very well placed to take advantage of and so it’s with a great sense of optimism that I come into this contest. I know people are saying ‘look at the difficulties of the world around us’ – I think there’s really a new dawn here for this country and we’re particularly well-placed to take advantage of the challenges and the opportunities out there.

He said it was “easier” to have credibility if coming from the leave side but not absolutely necessary and stressed that he would not back any deal with the EU involving keeping free movement of people.

In terms of the EU I think we need to make it very clear that we intend to honour the instruction given to us by the British people last week, we will leave the EU. I don’t believe the British public will accept the concept of free movement in return for full membership of the single market, I think we need a more free trade approach.

Fox reiterated his support for an an Australian-type points system “so that it’s fair and not discriminatory against the non-EU, for example, commonwealth citizens who might want to come here”.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox
Former defence secretary Liam Fox Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images


Theresa May's leadership launch - Summary

Here are the main points from Theresa May’s speech and Q&A. It was a solid, serious speech, with more detail than Stephen Crabb’s speech yesterday, and concessions designed to appeal to Tory Brexiteers and Tory liberals (there are a few) respectively.

Here are the main points.

  • May said that as Tory leader she would focus on “serious social reform”.

Britain still needs a government that is capable of delivering a programme of serious social reform and realising a vision of a country that truly works for everyone.

The evidence of this need has been known to us for a long time. If you’re born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others. If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman, you still earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s too often not enough help to hand. If you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home. These are all burning injustices, and - as I did with the misuse of stop and search and deaths in police custody and modern slavery - I am determined to fight against them.

She also said it was important to look after those once described by Ed Miliband as “the squeezed middle”.

But the mission to make this a country that works for everyone goes further than fighting these injustices. If you’re from an ordinary, working-class family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realise. You have a job, but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about mortgage rates going up. You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and the quality of the local school, because there’s no other choice for you.

  • She said that some politicians in Westminster don’t understand ordinary, working-class life, and the insecurities that go with it.
  • She suggested that Boris Johnson was unsuited to be prime minister. In a passage of her speech clearly aimed at him she said:

Some need to be told that what the government does isn’t a game, it’s a serious business that has real consequences for people’s lives.

She also cracked a joke about his negotiating abilities.

Theresa May pokes fun at Boris Johnson.
  • She said the Conservatives should abandon plans to seek a budget surplus by the end of this parliament.

While it is absolutely vital that the government continues with its intention to reduce public spending and cut the budget deficit, we should no longer seek to reach a budget surplus by the end of the Parliament. If before 2020 there is a choice between further spending cuts, more borrowing and tax rises, the priority must be to avoid tax increases since they would disrupt consumption, employment and investment.

  • She said in the EU withdrawal negotiations allowing the UK to impose immigration controls would be a priority. She said:

The second point is while the ability to trade with EU member states is vital to our prosperity, there is clearly no mandate for a deal that involves accepting the free movement of people as it has worked hitherto. Now is not the time for me to set out my full negotiating principles - that will come later. But I want to be clear that as we conduct our negotiations, it must be a priority to allow British companies to trade with the single market in goods and services - but also to regain more control of the numbers of people who come here from Europe. Any attempt to wriggle out of that - especially from leadership candidates who campaigned to leave the EU by focusing on immigration - will be unacceptable to the public.

This seems to be a reference to Johnson’s Telegraph article on Monday, in which he played down the importance of controlling immigration. That article seems to have done huge damage to Johnson’s campaign.

  • She said that she would appoint a “secretary of state for Brexit” (my phrase, not hers) to oversee the EU withdrawal negotiations. And the job should go to a minister who backed leave, she said.

I will therefore create a new government department responsible for conducting Britain’s negotiation with the EU and for supporting the rest of Whitehall in its European work. That department will be led by a senior secretary of state - and I will make sure that the position is taken by a member of parliament who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU.

With Chris Grayling, a prominent leave campaigner, running her campaign, he may now be the obvious candidate for that job.

  • She said that Brexit had to mean Brexit and ruled out a second referendum.

Brexit means Brexit. The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high, and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum.

  • She said that she was opposed to an early election and that the next one should not take place until 2020.
  • She said that article 50, which triggers the two-year EU withdrawal process, “should not be invoked before the end of the year”.
  • She said she was abandoning plans to take Britain out of the European convention on human rights. Although she proposed this in a speech earlier this year, she said she would not pursue it because there was no Commons majority for this.

Lots of people on the Tory left couldn't support a candidate who would pull the UK out of the ECHR, so May is dropping that pledge now

— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) June 30, 2016
  • She said she was committed to public service.

I know some politicians seek high office because they’re driven by ideological fervour. And I know others seek it for reasons of ambition or glory. But my reasons are much simpler. I grew up the daughter of a local vicar and the granddaughter of a regimental sergeant major. Public service has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.

I know I’m not a showy politician. I don’t tour the television studios. I don’t gossip about people over lunch. I don’t go drinking in parliament’s bars. I don’t often wear my heart on my sleeve. I just get on with the job in front of me.

  • She stressed her record as a politician who can deliver.

And you can judge me by my record. As Home Secretary, I was told I couldn’t take on the Police Federation, but I did. I was told I couldn’t cut police spending without crime going up, but crime is lower than ever. I was told I shouldn’t start asking questions about police corruption, but everywhere I’ve seen it - from Stephen Lawrence to Hillsborough - I’ve exposed it. I was told I couldn’t stop Gary McKinnon’s extradition, but I stood up to the American government and I stopped it. I was told I couldn’t deport Abu Qatada, but I flew to Jordan and negotiated the treaty that got him out of Britain for good.

Theresa May launches her Conservative leadership campaign.
Theresa May launches her Conservative leadership campaign. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA


Tory MP Nigel Evans, who is backing Boris Johnson, was asked whether Theresa May had stabbed his favoured candidate in the back and Michael Gove had stabbed him in the front. He replied:

That’s about it. It makes House of Cards look like Teletubbies.

He later said himself that Gove had “stabbed Boris in the front”.

Although laughing, he said he was a “bit irritated” as the leave side, which he is part of, is in disarray, while things are relatively orderly on the remain side, with May the clear frontrunner (he thinks she will win the first round).

I think there’s almost an expectation that it should be Theresa and Boris. I think they’d be real surprise if it ended up with someone else.


Airport capacity decision deferred

The decision on expanding airport capacity in south-east England has been deferred until a new Conservative leader is elected, the government has confirmed.
David Cameron was expected to confirm whether projects at Heathrow or Gatwick would get the go-ahead in the coming weeks if the UK voted to remain in the EU.

But Cameron’s resignation following the Brexit vote means the decision will not be made until the autumn.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the House of Commons:

I had hoped that we would be able to announce a decision on airport capacity this summer.

Clearly any announcement on airport capacity would have to be made when the House is in session and being realistic, given recent events, I cannot now foresee an announcement until at least October.

Heathrow and Gatwick responded to the announcement by reiterating their respective claims for expansion.

Here is Nicky Morgan’s statement on why she is backing Michael Gove. And here’s an extract.

It is equally important that we now secure the right deal for Britain – and the next leader must have the skill and credibility to put together the right team to renegotiate our exit from and future relationship with Europe and explain the final terms to the British people.

Having spent the past week talking to colleagues in parliament, party members and constituents I have concluded unequivocally that the right person to do that is Michael Gove and I am delighted to be endorsing his candidacy today.

And Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, who was also mulling over his own leadership bid, has announced that he is backing Theresa May. He said:

I have decided that now is not the right time for me to run for the leadership - though I remain completely committed to ensuring we secure our position as a great trading nation with sensible controls on migration. I believe that Theresa May has the strength, judgement and values to deliver those things. She is the right choice to lead Britain in a challenging period and will make a truly outstanding prime minister.

According to Sky News, Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, has said she will not stand for the leadership. She is backing Michael Gove, Sky says.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries not part of the alleged “stampede” to Gove. She is typically outspoken about his candidature for the leadership, suggesting he cannot be trusted. She also says Conservative party members will be furious if Boris Johnson does not make the final two.

Conservative party members will be very very angry if Boris not on final 2. Treachery of Gove won't be forgiven easily

— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorriesMP) June 30, 2016

Gove didn't get the big job Mrs Vine wanted for him - Boris doesn't do bribes

— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorriesMP) June 30, 2016

Conservative party members have no forgiveness for opportunism and treachery - those days are gone

— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorriesMP) June 30, 2016

' I don't want to be PM' who can ever believe a word Gove says again

— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorriesMP) June 30, 2016

Channel 4’s Tim Bouverie quotes an MP saying there is a “stampede” from Johnson to Gove.

There is "a stampede away from Boris to Gove" - Tory MP.

— Tim Bouverie (@TimPBouverie) June 30, 2016

Nick Boles who had declared for Boris is running Gove's campaign. Other defections: Raab, Hayes, Gibb

— Tim Bouverie (@TimPBouverie) June 30, 2016

Michael Gove is the man the party and country can trust to deliver Brexit. He's a passionate believer in social justice and a true reformer.

— Nick Gibb (@NickGibbMP) June 30, 2016

Dominic Raab, the justice minister, was backing Boris Johnson. But he’s just told Sky News that he is now backing Michael Gove.

As 5 News’s Andy Bell points out, Raab has an article in today’s Sun saying why Johnson should be the leader.

Just watched Dominic Raab backing Michael Gove while reading his Sun article backing Boris #ToryLeadership

— Andy Bell (@andybell5news) June 30, 2016

Good morning, this is Haroon Siddique, I’ll be helping Andrew out with blog today as there is so much going on today.

Bookies have installed Michael Gove as the second favourite behind Theresa May.

William Hill quotes May as 8/13, Gove as 3/1 and Johnson at 11/1.

However, the former Conservative chair Sayeeda Warsi has made some very damning comments about Gove, suggesting that he is a political opportunist and not a unifier.

She told BBC News:

I am quite surprised [by his announcement]. I never really thought it [the referendum campaign] was about Michael’s political ambitions ...

I am also surprised at what he said. He talks about healing and speaking for all and bringing the country together. From my experience of Michael and his approach towards teachers, the legal profession, ethnic minorities, that is not the Michael Gove I see.

By contrast, Warsi described May’s speech as “brilliant”.

Here is Paul Goodman, editor of ConservativeHome, on why Michael Gove abandoned Boris Johnson.

Gove's decision 1) He came to believe that @BorisJohnson was prepared to backtrack on Brexit.

— Paul Goodman (@PaulGoodmanCH) June 30, 2016

Gove's decision 2) It's claimed that Johnson refused to allow his Daily Telegraph column text to go through a campaign approval process.

— Paul Goodman (@PaulGoodmanCH) June 30, 2016

Gove's decision 3) The Justice Secretary & supporters concluded that Johnson was unlikely to defeat May.

— Paul Goodman (@PaulGoodmanCH) June 30, 2016

Here’s a clip from Theresa May’s leadership launch.

Theresa May’s leadership launch.

I will post a full summary soon.

These are from the Spectator’s James Forsyth.

Think if Gove can make it to the last two, then he has a chance. But next 24 hours absolutely key for him

— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) June 30, 2016

Understand that it was concerns, and frustrations, about the Boris operation and Boris’s way of working that tipped Gove over the edge

— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) June 30, 2016

Here is Channel 4 New’s Gary Gibbon’s take on Michael Gove’s declaration he is standing. And here is an extract.

The PM’s circle were already calling him Brutus. Samantha Cameron has told friends she will never speak to the Goves again.

Now the Johnsons’ dinner parties are off limits.

Can he become PM?

Michael Gove has gone a lot further than others in the past in ruling himself out not on grounds of skill or ambition but on grounds of temperament. He said repeatedly that he didn’t have the calm serenity of mind and the thick skin required to do the job.

Some people very close to him, some in the party, probably George Osborne with whom he managed to stay in touch throughout the turmoil and bitterness of the campaign, have helped to change his mind. The adulation of Tories and the right wing press has played a role too

The Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has announced he is switching his support to Michael Gove from Boris Johnson.

I am transferring my support to Michael Gove for the leadership of the @Conservatives and Prime @Number10gov.

— Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) June 30, 2016

Q: What would you do about the border with Ireland?

May says there is a common travel area in Ireland. The government is speaking to the Irish government about this.

And that’s it. I will post a summary soon.

May says she is opposed to an early election

Q: Given the government is abandoning so many policies, aren’t voters entitled to another election?

May says the government was elected on a clear manifesto. It should deliver on that. And, given the uncertainties around at the moment, it would be wrong to introduce further uncertainty by having an election.

  • May says she is opposed to an early election.

May says she has abandoned plans to try to get Britain to withdraw from ECHR

Q: Can you guarantee that EU citizens living in the EU will be allowed to stay?

May says this will be part of the negotiation.

But it is not about whether people are welcome here, she says, implying they are.

Q: [From Newsnight’s Nick Watt] You say there must be no backdoor pitch to remain. Is your pitch that you are Theresa May, the remainer, who will deliver leave, unlike Boris Johnson, the leaver, who will deliver remain.

(Terrific question.)

May says her pitch is that she is the best person to be prime minister.

Q: [From my colleague Rowena Mason] Are you still committed to pulling out of the European convention on human rights?

May says she set our her views on this in a speech. But there is no parliamentary majority for leaving the ECHR, and so she will not be pursuing it.

  • May says she has abandoned plans to try to get Britain to withdraw from the European convention on human rights.

Q: Are you committed to getting net migration below 100,000?

May says it was in the manifesto in 2010 and 2015. The government will have to negotiate controls on free movement.

Q: What is your red line? Preserving access to the single market? Or curbs on free movement?

May says you should not declare you red lines in advance. You should go into a negotiation looking for the best deal you can get. That includes progress on both. And access to the single market for services is important.

Q: Would leaving the EU bring down net migration below 100,000?

May says you cannot simply pull a lever and bring down immigration. You have to work at this through various policy means.

Q: Would it make a difference having a woman as prime minister?

May says she has always championed having more women in politics. But the key thing is how you do the job?

Q: Would you give Boris Johnson a job?

May says she thinks talent from all wings of the party should be in the government. But she is not going around offering jobs.

Q: What do you think of Michael Gove’s comments about Johnson, and the fact he is standing?

May says it is for Gove to explain what he meant. She welcomes the fact that there is a contest. It would not be good for the leadership to be decided by a deal done behind closed doors.

Q: You are home secretary, and responsible for immigration. And remain lost because of immigration. So why should people trust you to control it?

May says she has done this. She has sat around the table in Europe. And she delivered in Europe. Other people have delivered in Europe too. Like Boris Johnson. The last time he did a deal with the Germans, he came back with three nearly new water cannon.

Q: Why should the Conservative membership trust you?

May says the leadership contest should not just be about Europe. The government was elected on a manifesto.

Q: Would you keep the target of getting immigration below 100,000?

May says she has introduced measures to bring immigration down. And it is vital to secure controls on free movement in the Brexit negotiations.

She says leaving the EU will not on its own address people’s concerns about immigration.

Q: Do you see parallels between yourself and Angela Merkel?

May says she is not showy. And she never compares herself to other politician. She just focuses on doing her own thing.

Theresa May's Q&A

I will summarise Theresa May’s speech soon. It was substantial.

She is now taking questions.

Q: Why should you be leader?

May says she can offer strong leadership and honesty.

Gove's declaration - reaction from the Twitter commentariat

This is what political journalists are saying about Michael Gove’s declaration that he is standing for the Conservative leadership.

This massively helps Theresa May look like unifying, stable candidate while Gove and Johnson fight it out

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 30, 2016

The other interesting thing about Michael Gove's statement is that the pitch he's making is continuity Vote Leave.

— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) June 30, 2016

Must assume Murdoch and Dacre could not endorse Boris - step forward the proprietors choice Michael Gove.

— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) June 30, 2016

To the extent official Leave campaign had a policy prospectus, Michael Gove will attempt to fulfil it. The @odysseanproject continues.

— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) June 30, 2016

Important: Gove wants to leave the single market

— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) June 30, 2016

Nick Boles abandons Boris Johnson to chair Gove campaign

— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) June 30, 2016

So if you were a conspiracy theorist, you would say that Mr Gove was behind the leaking of the prophetic Mrs Gove email, to soften us up

— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 30, 2016

The power of a determined wife: Gove runs!

— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) June 30, 2016

Or is Gove's running he power of Dacre and Murdoch..who are said to doubt Boris?

— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) June 30, 2016

The 3 people who spent the last few months working hand-in-glove with Boris—Gove, Leadsom and Boles—all abandon him at once. Fancy that.

— Nico Hines (@NicoHines) June 30, 2016

Maybe Boris didn't see this quote from Cameron: "(Gove is) basically a bit of a Maoist. He believes in...a process of creative destruction.”

— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) June 30, 2016

This is a terrific Gove profile by Decca Aitkenhead from four years ago

— Robert Harris (@Robert___Harris) June 30, 2016

This is from the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn.

A text arrives from a senior Team Boris figure: "Gove is a c*** who set this up form start". This is going to be bloody.

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) June 30, 2016

Gove's declaration for the Conservative leadership - Snap analysis

Last week Michael Gove’s Vote Leave campaign ended the career of David Cameron - a man that Gove has counted as a close friend for more than a decade.

Today the Gove career-destroying machine has turned on Boris Johnson, who until about half an hour ago was the favourite to win the Conservative leadership. Gove, who is respected by colleagues, Tory members and the media, has just published a damning character reference about the man with whom he jointly ran the victorious Vote Leave campaign. Here it is again:

I respect and admire all the candidates running for the leadership. In particular, I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future.

But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.

Gove does not explain why he has come to this conclusion, but presumably we will learn more later today, or in the days ahead. Gove was never particularly close to Johnson and it was reported that at a dinner with Rupert Murdoch two years ago he told the media tycoon Johnson was not fit to be prime minister. “A ‘tipsy’ Michael Gove has launched an extraordinary wine-fuelled attack on Boris Johnson, saying he ‘has no gravitas and is unfit to lead the nation’,” is how the Mail on Sunday reported it. But Gove and Johnson appeared to get on during the EU referendum camaign and afterwards Gove’s supporter briefed journalists that Gove had developed new respect for Johnson. This is what the well-informed James Forsyth wrote at the weekend in the Sun.

But I understand that Gove is not planning to put himself forward.

One influential figure in the Leave campaign says: “Michael has acquired a new respect for Boris in this process.”

Those on the Vote Leave team have bonded during this campaign: “They have become a band of brothers and sisters. There is a logic to them taking on the challenge they have created,” I am told.

So something has changed. Yesterday we learned, from a leaked email written by Gove’s wife Sarah Vine, that she feared Johnson might fail to honour promises made to her husband. Gove has now decided his wife was right.

Gove’s intervention is, at one level, a stop Johnson operation, and it may well succeed.

But it would be a mistake to think this is just about sabotaging Johnson. In the past Gove has repeatedly said that he does not want to be prime minster, with an apparent sincerity that led journalists and colleagues to think he meant it. He hinted that he accepted that his own personal limitations (he is famously impractical, he’s not good with numbers, he does not like flying, and some of his intellectual interests border on the eccentric) meant he was not suitable for the job. But it is a rare politician who turns down the chance to be prime minister. Yesterday a ConservativeHome survey of party members had Theresa May and Boris Johnson as joint favourites. But that may be because they did not ask about Gove, because ConservativeHome thought Gove was not running. When ConservativeHome asked the same question in a survey in May, Gove came top. There is a real chance he could win.


Chris Grayling, the leader of the Commons, is introducing Theresa May. He is chairing her campaign.

That is significant because he was as significant leave campaigner.

Theresa May, the home secretary, is launching her leadership bid with a speech around now.

She has set out her case in a long post on Facebook.

Andrea Leadsom, the pro-Brexit energy minister, has announced that she is also running for the Conservative leadership.

Delighted to say I'm running for the @Conservatives Leadership.

Let's make the most of the Brexit opportunities!#FreshStart

— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) June 30, 2016

Michael Gove announces he is standing for Conservative leadership

Good morning. I’m Andrew Sparrow, taking over from Nadia.

Michael Gove has announced that he is standing for the Conservative leadership.

Here is his statement.

The British people voted for change last Thursday. They sent us a clear instruction that they want Britain to leave the European Union and end the supremacy of EU law. They told us to restore democratic control of immigration policy and to spend their money on national priorities such as health, education and science instead of giving it to Brussels. They rejected politics as usual and government as usual. They want and need a new approach to running this country.

There are huge challenges ahead for this country but also huge opportunities. We can make this country stronger and fairer. We have a unique chance to heal divisions, give everyone a stake in the future and set an example as the most creative, innovative and progressive country in the world.

If we are to make the most of the opportunities ahead we need a bold break with the past.

I have repeatedly said that I do not want to be Prime Minister. That has always been my view. But events since last Thursday have weighed heavily with me.

I respect and admire all the candidates running for the leadership. In particular, I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future.

But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.

I have, therefore, decided to put my name forward for the leadership. I want there to be an open and positive debate about the path the country will now take. Whatever the verdict of that debate I will respect it. In the next few days I will lay out my plan for the United Kingdom which I hope can provide unity and change.

Owen Smith reportedly planning Labour leadership challenge

The gossip among some MPs and their researchers is that Owen Smith, the former shadow work and pensions secretary is also collecting names as a possible alternative Labour leadership challenger.

MPs do not want two contenders as that would split the vote, but some are concerned that Eagle will be characterised as not left wing enough to challenge Corbyn. Smith is seen by some as closer to the leadership and perhaps more likely to be able to beat the leader.

One Mp tells me that this isn’t resolved - that there is a belief that Smith can win the soft left and that Corbynites will use Chilcott to hit Eagle on Iraq.

“In general lots of disquiet that she might unilaterally declare. PLP feel strongly that we should take a collective view about who can beat him, not simply one person just decide to declare themselves,” they said.

Another source saying Smith now has more nominations than Angela.

When writing for Guardian yesterday Lisa Nandy hinted that the search was still on for a unity candidate, although it wasn’t clear whether she thought Eagle fit the bill or not.

She wrote: “The battle lines in the leadership contest have been drawn, and both sides have signalled they are unwilling to stop. In taking this path we are consigning ourselves to irrelevance at a time when the sensible majority in the country – who want to see a sensible, measured, respectful conversation focused on the things that unite us – desperately need a voice.”

But Eagle has widespread support with many thinking it was down to her or Tom Watson so swinging behind her when he dropped out.

Owen Smith.
Owen Smith. Photograph: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Today’s Telegraph cartoon gives us food for thought:

Superb Matt this morning

— Emily Purser (@EmilyPurser) June 30, 2016

On that note, I’m handing over to Andrew Sparrow.

In an opinion piece for the Telegraph, Nigel Farage says he believes the next Tory leader should be a Brexiteer. He writes:

It is an absolutely vital task and so we need somebody who has the courage and vision to deliver.

It is inconceivable that the next Prime Minister, whose most urgent task would be to implement the brexit process, could be someone who only days ago was insisting we Remain in.

Shami Chakrabarti’s report on anti-Semitism in Labour is due at 11am today. Corbyn is expected to speak at the launch. As Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson points out, what a day for it...

Not saying they chose a busy news day to launch the report into Labour anti-Semitism but it's up against two Tory leader launches and a coup

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) June 30, 2016


Damian Green, former Home Office minister for immigration and the campaign spokesman for Theresa May was just on the Today programme.

Green said the ideal position for the UK “is the one that gives us the most ability to trade with the single market in both goods and services.”

He said there’s a spectrum, where at one end is the status quo, now rejected by the British people, and at the other end is not being in the single market. “Both of those are undesirable, we need to negotiate the deal that gives us ability to trade as well as take control,” he said.

What the british people have said is the freedom of movement is unacceptable therefore we have to negotiate a new arrangement. It’s clear this morning we’ve had slightly different responses from a French minister and a German minister... we don’t know what the negotiating position of the other side is yet.

Green said May has been the most successful home secretary anyone can remember.

She has done more to bring immigration down and abolish things like bogus colleges... one of the things that has been a problem is the amount of immigration from the EU... there are two key principles here, one is that you want to bring in people who are going to be useful but you want to keep people out who are just coming here to claim benefits. We have been much more successful at that than other countries... nobody could have been tougher and more consistent than the home secretary.

On May’s invisibility during the referendum campaign, he said “she made her views clear and made a very thoughtful speech”.

We have to consider who is going to be the best prime minister to take on a “one nation” agenda. A form of conservatism that makes clear we have problems in this country, it’s not just about individualism, we have to help people who feel they’re being failed by the system.. When [May] says something she means it and she gets her way.

Also on the programme was Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, who’s supporting Boris Johnson’s leadership bid. Raab said we have to deliver for the 17m people who voted to leave, and that the prime minister was right to say in his resignation speech that the new leader has to be passionate about the new agenda. “This isn’t a trade-off between controlling our borders and stopping freedom of movement,” he said.

Pressed on Johnson’s position, Zahawi said:

The simple answer is that is we have to have an Australian style point system, where we control our borders and economy, and we still get access to single market.

You don’t have to have a trade-off, you can negotiate on both sides.

The point is Boris is going to deliver a positive message about us believing in ourselves and this country.

Asked why Johnson was not present during PMQs, Zahawi said “this week the chief whip asked for May and Boris to turn up to unite the party, he turned up, Theresa didn’t. He’s about uniting the party.” On Sarah vine’s email to Gove on not trusting the former London mayor, he added: “Wives have all sorts of pieces of advice for husbands, mine certainly does...”


On the theme of angry letters regarding Jeremy Corbyn, here’s one from Alan Johnson to his constituency Labour party. Johnson writes that “three of Corbyn’s closest associates were actively undermining the party’s Remajn campaign”.

This is quite the letter. Alan Johnson to his Constituency Labour Party.

— Aidan Kerr (@AidanKerrPol) June 29, 2016

Head of Germany's federal chancellery says UK cannot have access to single market

Peter Altmaier, head of the federal chancellery in Germany, and a key ally of Angela Merkel, has poured more cold water on the idea that the UK could have post-Brexit access to the EU’s single market while also imposing limits on the arrival of people from the bloc.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that while anything could be negotiated, this idea, mooted earlier this week by Boris Johnson among others, would seem unacceptable:

There will be a process where the British government is considering what they are putting on the table. But nobody in this negotiation will be obliged to accept anything that is put on the table. It is a negotiation...

What you can find from the past is that freedom of movement is at least as important as freedom of goods, services and capital. These four fundamental freedoms are at the heart of the single market. That means that any country that would like to participate in the single market, basically has to accept the single market as it exists.


Despite statements from various political figures yesterday that Brexit is definitely going to happen, in London and Scotland the message is still yet to fully hit home. The Evening Standard reported that the Chief Minister of Gibraltar has revealed he is in talks with Sadiq Khan and Nicola Sturgeon to draw up plans for protection against Brexit.

Labour’s Tam Dalyell also told the BBC’s Newsnight that MPs should have the courage to overrule the Brexit vote.

Brexit continues to dominate the news agenda beyond the front pages. Although global stock markets had a much better day yesterday after a torrid week, the governor of Bank of England Mark Carney is expected to speak today to reassure the city that contingency plans will keep the funds flowing.

But this sobering 23-tweet forecast from Alan White of the Economist Intelligence Unit is worth a read (if you want to depress yourself further):

EIU Brexit Take
1. Brexit has plunged the UK into political, economic and market turmoil. We expect this turmoil to be sustained

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

2. Financial market volatility will persist, while uncertainty over the future of the UK's relationship with EU will feed into real economy

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

3. We significantly revised our economic fcast. After growth of 1.5% this year, we expect contraction of 1% in 2017

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

4. We expect to see decline in investment of 8% and decline in private consumption of 3% in 2017 with the pound levelling out at $1.24

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

5. The vote has transformed our fiscal forecasts. Falling tax rev & higher social transfers as unemployment rises

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

6. We now expect the UK's public debt burden to reach 100% of GDP by 2018

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

7. This hit brings UK's post-crisis recovery to a halt. 2018 real GDP will be almost 4% below pre-referendum forecast (2020 = 6% below)

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

8. While this is going on, politics will remain deeply fractious. The Govt, the main parties, parliament & the Union all face big threats

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

9. We expect two months of chaos in the near-term. New PM Johnson (or May) will be in post in Sept, and start to figure out way ahead

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

10. The UK will likely invoke Art 50 before year end, implying that negotiations will conclude in late 2018

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

11. UK will agree an EEA minus deal with significant constraints on services access in return for limitations on migration

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

12. Much of the financial services sector may be left in the cold

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

13. New PM will eat heroic quantities of humble pie to get the deal; UK will be permanently out of the room on big decisions

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

14: This new deal will be confirmed through either a second referendum or a general election at the end of the process

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

15. Leavers will tell voters they wont get what they want on migration. Will lead to major backlash = structural rise for radical right

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

16. This is a particular threat for Labour. We expect UKIP etc to mount a serious challenge in Labour heartlands (even with Corbyn gone)

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

17. UK establishment will take time to fully reassert itself. Lack of planning / credibility will lead to ongoing doubts about capacity

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

18. Much of the UK's 'political stability premium' based on predictability / reliability etc could be lost for long time

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

19. As UK leaves, recovery will be underway but economy & politics will look structurally different

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

20. We are not predicting second Scot ref at this stage, but constitutional settlement needs to change (inc London / FPTP?)

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

21. Impacts across Europe will be substantial. We have taken 0.2% off growth and see larger political risks – particularly in Italy/France

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

22. The region is capable of managing Brexit, and other crises in isolation. It may not be capable of managing several crises at once

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016

23. We expect things to hold together, but see major downside risks – include possibility EU wont deal, or that crises spin out of control

— Alex White (@AlexWhite1812) June 29, 2016


Morning briefing

Good morning and welcome to our daily EU referendum live blog.

Here’s the morning briefing to run you through the latest developments and what we expect to happen throughout the day. Please do leave your comments below the line, or you can find me on Twitter @nadiakhomami.

Theresa May and Boris Johnson set to announce bids

The coming battle between Theresa May and Boris Johnson is the focus of the Guardian’s splash. Both Tory “big beasts” will today announce they are running to become leader of the Conservative party, with each claiming to be the unifying candidate Britain needs as its prime minister after the divisive EU referendum.

The home secretary will be the first to make her ambitions known in a speech at around 9.30am, saying the UK needs to be “a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us”. Johnson, who is widely considered the frontrunner after leading the leave campaign, will make his own declaration at around 11.30am – just half an hour before the deadline for nominations closes.

‘Project fear is over’ says Boris Johnson

Angela Eagle set to launch Labour leadership bid

Meanwhile, in the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn continues to resist pressure to resign, including from his deputy Tom Watson. Today Angela Eagle, the former shadow business secretary, is expected to launch a bid for the leadership, pledging to reunify the fractured party, which has been locked in a vicious internal battle since the weekend. “We’ve got the numbers, we’ve got the big hitters, it will probably be [Thursday] afternoon,” said an ally of Eagle.

Earlier, Watson became the most senior party figure to call on Corbyn to resign, telling the BBC: “It’s a great tragedy. He does have a members’ mandate, but those members who join a political party know that you also need a parliamentary mandate if you are to form a government. You have to have the authority of the members and your members of parliament, and I’m afraid he doesn’t have that with our MPs.”

Former Labour leaders Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband added their voices to those calling for him to go. Corbyn’s response?

“Leave it, Jez, ‘e ain’t worth it. We’ve all ‘ad a drink.” - “Come back here, Miliband, and say that to my face.”

— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) June 29, 2016

Last night, Jamie Reed, the MP for Copeland, tweeted a strong-worded letter he sent to the Labour leader outlining why he should resign, in which he says his “duplicitous behaviour is not worthy of any democratic politician. There is nothing Labour about it.”

My letter to @jeremycorbyn tonight.

— Jamie Reed (@jreedmp) June 29, 2016

None the less Corbyn continues to draw crowds and addressed a rally a SOAS last night.

A new political party

Arron Banks, the Brexit campaign’s biggest financial donor, has said he is considering backing a new political party taking in members of Ukip, Labour and the Conservatives.

In a sign that the referendum aftershocks already rocking the Conservative and Labour parties could be spreading to Ukip, the insurance multi-millionaire and Ukip funder criticised the party’s growth and proposed harnessing Brexit support in a new party. When asked if Farage would be in charge, he said the Ukip leader “may have had enough”. He added:

I think Ukip needs to be reformed root and branch and we will be looking at that. With a million supporters there’s also a wonderful opportunity if we want to do something, to back something. I think a new party, a brand new party.

Ukip grew so rapidly it had problems with personnel and all sorts of issues and I believe that could be better tackled with a new party.

What the papers say

The splash across the front of The Times is drawn from an opinion piece inside the paper by May, in which she seeks to cast herself as a “One Nation” Tory figure who can unite the UK and her party amid divisions in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote as she set out her pitch for the Tory leadership.

It includes a not so subtle dig at Boris Johnson, when which she writes about the struggles of some in society: “Frankly, not everybody in Westminster understands what it’s like to live like this. And some need to be told that what the government does isn’t a game.”

A photo of Michael Gove and his wife, the journalist Sarah Vine, are splashed across the front of the Telegraph, which focuses on the leaked email in which she warned him about the risks of backing Boris Johnson for the Tory Party leadership without ‘specific’ guarantees on immigration controls.

The Telegraph goes on to report that “friends” of Johnson said he would set out a “positive” vision for Britain as he is joined by Gove today during the launch of a bid to succeed David Cameron at the helm of the Tory Party and the country.

The Financial Times features Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, exchanging pleasantries with Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission.

Its splash reports how European leaders “issued a stark rebuff” to British hopes of a favourable new trade deal with the EU yesterday, hardening their conditions for allowing access to the single market after the UK leaves the union.

The FT reports that Dalia Grybauskaite, Lithuania’s president, summed up the “stoical” mood at the summit in Brussels, when she said: “Today is about us. Of course we will move on. Who will stop us?”

The Daily Mail splashes on follow-on talks from last week’s referendum with a story - “Europe starts to crack on migrants” - reporting that France has signalled that the EU could strike a deal with Britain on immigration.

“In a major boost for hopes of a smooth exit for the UK, finance minister Michel Sapin said there would be no ‘red lines’ in talks over the single market,” it says.

The Daily Mirror splashes on Labour’s bloodletting, featuring a picture of deputy leader Tom Watson scrutinising Jeremy Corbyn, with the headline “Now it’s civil war”.

The Sun forsakes Brexit and the Tory and Labour leadership tussles to continue heaping opprobrium on England’s hapless Euro 2016’s footballers, with a report alleging that “flop” Raheem Sterling was on the receiving end of a backlash from fans for supposedly showing off his wealth.

You should also know

Thought for the day

Jeremy Corbyn must do the decent thing. Prune that rosebush outside his front door so he doesn’t have to duck under it every morning.

— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) June 28, 2016



Andrew Sparrow, Haroon Siddique, Nadia Khomami and Chris Johnston

The GuardianTramp

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EU referendum morning briefing: the Eagle takes off
The UK’s main political parties plunge into leadership elections as European leaders attempt to move on from the Brexit vote

Nadia Khomami

30, Jun, 2016 @6:43 AM

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Boris Johnson backs Andrea Leadsom for Tory leadership - as it happened
Tories hold leadership election hustings and Labour party MPs meet in Westminster

Andrew Sparrow , Claire Phipps and Ben Quinn

04, Jul, 2016 @8:55 PM

Boris Johnson rules himself out of Tory leadership race
Main public face of Brexit makes shock announcement hours after his key ally Michael Gove launched his own campaign

Heather Stewart and Jessica Elgot

30, Jun, 2016 @12:20 PM

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EU referendum: Boris Johnson v Nicola Sturgeon in ITV debate - as it happened
Rolling coverage of the ITV’s EU debate, with Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom and Gisela Stuart for Leave against Nicola Sturgeon, Angela Eagle and Amber Rudd for Remain

Andrew Sparrow

09, Jun, 2016 @11:03 PM

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Theresa May emerges as 'Stop Boris' Tory leadership candidate
Former London mayor is favourite to become PM, but home secretary could gain support as unifying candidate

Rowena Mason Political correspondent

25, Jun, 2016 @11:51 AM

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Tory leadership: Jeremy Hunt to face Boris Johnson after Michael Gove eliminated – as it happened
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments

Andrew Sparrow and Kevin Rawlinson

20, Jun, 2019 @7:52 PM

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Boris Johnson camp works on his bid for Tory leadership
MP heads for crucial level of support as Conservatives for Britain group tags him ‘best hope’ for delivering EU poll verdict

Rowena Mason, Anushka Asthana and Rajeev Syal

30, Jun, 2016 @6:00 AM

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Tory MPs vow to quit party if Boris Johnson becomes leader
With many MPs convinced that PM’s days are numbered some are saying they will not stay in party run by ‘Brexit ultras’

Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

19, Mar, 2019 @7:28 PM