Hunt says his 'honesty' could cost him the job in race for Number 10

PUBLISHED: 08:58 13 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:19 13 July 2019

Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt waits his turn to speak at a Tory leadership hustings. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt waits his turn to speak at a Tory leadership hustings. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has acknowledged he may 'pay a political price' for being honest in the Tory leadership contest.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil, the foreign secretary said he was not prepared to make a commitment to leave the European Union on October 31st when it was clear Parliament could block it.

He said prime ministers should "only make promises they know they can deliver".

However, after his leadership rival Boris Johnson said it would be "insane" to delay Brexit again, Hunt admitted his "honesty" could cost him in the race for No 10.

Speaking later at a leadership hustings in Cheltenham, he said: "Maybe I will pay a political price for being honest with people.

"But the reality is that we face a hung parliament with people - not just in the Labour Party but in our own party - absolutely determined to stop us leaving without a deal."

In his BBC interview, Hunt reaffirmed his commitment to leave the EU without a deal if he was unable to negotiate a new agreement with Brussels on the terms of the UK's withdrawal.

He insisted, however, that it was possible to get a revised deal with Brussels by the end of September, and said if it took "a few extra days" to get it through parliament he would delay Brexit beyond the current October 31 deadline.

Asked whether he would be prepared to delay by days, weeks or months, Hunt replied: "Well, it's not going to be months."

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

"It's because prime ministers should only make promises they know they can deliver. And there's another reason why we have to be careful about this 31st of October date.

"It is because parliament may try and take a no deal Brexit off the table altogether."

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy