Ken Clarke lays into Boris Johnson: he should just flounce out

Written by David Singleton on 9 May 2018 in Diary

Watch: The Tory grandee was in robust form on Newsnight.

After his latest outburst, the consensus in Westminster is that Boris Johnson has effectively challenged the prime minister to sack him.

The foreign secretary is said to have thrown down the gauntlet by indicating that he has no intention of quitting the cabinet despite branding Theresa May's favoured customs plan “crazy”.

Friends of Johnson have made it clear that he has no plans to resign, will one pal telling The Times: “Why should he? He knows it’s better to fight for this on the inside.”

But on Newsnight, Tory grandee and chief Remainer Ken Clarke had a few reasons why the foreign secretary should find his way to the Cabinet exit door.

“Normally he would have been sacked,” Clarke said. “It’s totally irresponsible … I personally think [the PM] would be much better off if he flounced out, because it would complete his rather extraordinary performance as foreign secretary.”

The former cabinet heavyweight added that it was time for Johnson to “make his mind up whether he’s a minister or not, or whether he wants to keep campaigning for the leadership from the backbenches.”


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