Boris Johnson is ‘poisoning our politics’, says leadership rival Rory Stewart

Boris Johnson speaks to employees during a visit to Reid Steel, Christchurch in front of the £350m m

Boris Johnson speaks to employees during a visit to Reid Steel, Christchurch in front of the £350m message.(Ben Birchall/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Rory Stewart has hit out at the favourite to win the Tory leadership contest by claiming that it's 'not patriotic to bullsh*t'.

Fellow contender Stewart has accused his rival of not being honest about his Brexit plans and said that Johnson was attempting to "out-Farage Farage" with his politics.

His comments came after a judge decided to quash a summons calling on the former mayor of London to attend court for using "misleading" claims during the EU referendum campaign.

Speaking to Times, the international development secretary said of Johnson: "I don't believe it's patriotic to bullshit. I don't believe it's Conservative to bullshit. I don't believe it's democratic to bullshit.

"Believing in something is no excuse if it's nonsense... He [Johnson] is not my country. He's not my conservatism."

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In a seperate interview with the Independent he hit out at the lack of Brexit plan from Johnson.

He told the newspaper: "He has no plan for how he is going to get no-deal through parliament - which is what he is promising to do - except by proroguing and he wouldn't be honest about whether or not he is going to prorogue."

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He added: "It's outrageous, it's unconstitutional, it's illegal, it's un-British, it's undemocratic, it's unpatriotic, it's unconscionable," he said.

He said the principles that Johnson was promoting will "lead to the poisoning of our politics".

"They include promises that can't be kept, offensive threats that can't be sustained, they will lead to the poisoning of our politics and the poisoning of our relationship with Europe. And underlying it all is a kind of swaggering machismo which is not in keeping with somebody standing to be leader.

"This is the type of politics that is now emerging in the US and some parts of Europe. It's not our politics, it's not our tradition. I'm very confident that when it comes to the members of the Conservative Party, if they are asked to choose between me and Boris, they will not choose that kind of politics."

Stewart added "you can't simultaneously ride the horse of Farage and the horse of reality."

He said the Tory party had "tested that theory to destruction in 2017" during the general election.

But he added: "The way to defeat the Brexit Party is to get Brexit done and the reason Boris's pitch doesn't work is that he can't get Brexit done."

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