Theresa May Loses Pro-Brexit Ministers

British Conservative Party leaders Theresa May and Boris Johnson
British Conservative Party leaders Theresa May and Boris Johnson (The Prime Minister’s Office/i-Images)
  • Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have resigned from Theresa May’s government.
  • Both opposed her Brexit strategy of seeking as close as trade relationship with the EU as possible without accepting free movement of EU nationals. Read more

Boris Johnson Makes One More Bid for Relevance

London mayor Boris Johnson poses for a photo, November 24, 2011
London mayor Boris Johnson poses for a photo, November 24, 2011 (i-Images/Andrew Parsons)

When Theresa May named Boris Johnson foreign secretary last year, she wisely took the Brexit and international-trade portfolios away from him. This way, she contained the damage the buffoonish Johnson could do to both British foreign policy and her premiership.

But the former mayor of London’s appetite for higher office and publicity is never satisfied.

This week, he rattled Conservatives with a long opinion piece in The Telegraph (a right-wing newspaper he used to work for) that can only be read as a challenge to May. Read more

Boris Johnson’s Contradictions Have Caught Up with Him

Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London, campaigns for reelection, April 15, 2012
Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London, campaigns for reelection, April 15, 2012 (BackBoris2012/I-Images/Andrew Parsons)

Boris Johnson has flipflopped too many times.

Only days after 52 percent of Britons took his advice and voted in a referendum to exit the European Union, the former mayor of London suggested that his island nation can negotiate so close a relationship with the continent that it would barely feel the effects of leaving at all.

He went on to say that the “leave” campaign was never about immigration when all the polls suggests the majority of those who voted out did so to control immigration.

“Taking back control” was Johnson’s very own pitch for leaving.

What finally doomed his candidacy to succeed David Cameron as Conservative Party leader and prime minister was an early-morning announcement on Thursday from Michael Gove, the justice secretary and Johnson’s deputy on the leave campaign, that he would stand for the leadership himself.

Gove had been expected to back Johnson. Many of his allies had already come out in support of Johnson. Read more

Johnson Stands Down as Five Vie for David Cameron’s Job

British cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Theresa May
British cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Theresa May (Conservatives/UK Home Office)
  • Michael Gove, the British justice secretary, has forced Boris Johnson out of the race to succeed David Cameron by launching his own bid for the Conservative Party leadership.
  • Theresa May, the home secretary, formally declared her candidacy as well. She is seen as the best candidate to reunite the party after a bruising EU referendum campaign. Read more

British Parties Seek New Leaders After Vote to Leave EU

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech to supporters in London, England, June 29
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech to supporters in London, England, June 29 (Steve Eason)
  • The contest to replace David Cameron as Conservative Party leader and prime minister starts today.
  • Stephen Crabb, the up-and-coming work and pensions secretary, has declared he will stand. So have John Baron and Liam Fox, two Euroskeptics.
  • Boris Johnson and Theresa May are expected to enter the contest today. Read more

Boris Johnson Faces Rivals to Succeed Cameron

British prime minister David Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson listen during a meeting, April 17, 2012
British prime minister David Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson listen during a meeting, April 17, 2012 (i-Images/Andrew Parsons)

Boris Johnson’s bet may pay off. The former mayor of London led the campaign for Britain to exit the European Union and is now the favorite to replace David Cameron as prime minister.

But he’s no shoo-in for the position. Around half the parliamentary party supported Cameron and his bid for Britain to remain in the EU. They may not be ready to forgive Johnson for so passionately making the opposite case and there are doubts about just much he really wanted Britain to leave.

This is the same man who once said, “I am the only British politician who will admit to being pro-immigration.” The same man who once supported Turkish membership of the EU. The man who can always be counted on to argue for lower taxes, fewer regulations and less welfare. Those are not exactly the priorities of the traditionalist right wing he chose to affiliate himself with.

Johnson was something of a libertarian before he pretended to be a reactionary. The reactionary wing of the Conservative Party may remember. Especially now that the one thing that always trumped everything else to their minds — Europe — is no longer going to be an issue.

So if not Johnson, who? Read more

Liberal Euroskeptics Have Made Treacherous Pact

Arne Duncan and Michael Gove, the education secretaries of the United States and the United Kingdom at the time, visit a school in London, England, November 2, 2010
Arne Duncan and Michael Gove, the education secretaries of the United States and the United Kingdom at the time, visit a school in London, England, November 2, 2010 (US Embassy)

Leaders of Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union seem to have momentarily forgotten their liberal principles to argue that an exit will enable them to nationalize industries and keep immigrants out.

Michael Gove, the justice secretary, Daniel Hannan, a Conservative member of the European Parliament, and Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, have all argued that leaving the EU would unshackle Britain’s economy from centripetal forces that stifle growth. Their vision is of a free-trading Singapore on the Thames: cosmopolitan, nimble and proud.

So why have they spent the last few weeks deriding Brussels for blocking state aid for the Port Talbot Steelworks in Wales and talking about reducing immigration? Read more