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Poll boost for Boris Johnson – but he won’t turn up to first TV debate | Politics News

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Boris Johnson’s runaway Tory leadership bandwagon is gathering more pace with a surge in support in two opinion polls and a new high-profile backer, Esther McVey.

The polls, in The Sunday Times and Sun on Sunday, suggest Mr Johnson is way ahead of his rivals in his ability to win back Tory support from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and the Lib Dems, and defeat Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

The survey by OnePoll in the Sun on Sunday suggests Mr Johnson is three times more popular than his closest rival, Jeremy Hunt, and his popularity among Tory voters is higher than the combined ratings of Mr Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart.



LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Boris Johnson arrives at the home of his girlfriend Carrie Symonds on May 27, 2019 in London, England. Mr Johnson is in the running for leader of the Conservative party following the announcement of Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)



Boris Johnson avoids the media at Conservative Party hustings event

The poll also suggests that among the general public 24% say they would be more likely to vote Conservative with Mr Johnson as leader, compared for 8% for Mr Hunt, Mr Javid and Mr Stewart.

Pledging her backing for Mr Johnson, former leadership candidate Ms McVey, forced to drop out of the contest last week, claims Mr Johnson is committed to her brand of “blue collar conservatism”.

“I will wholeheartedly support him in his bid to become the leader of our great party and country, and I look forward to working with him to deliver for blue collar conservatives all over the country,” she writes in The Sunday Telegraph.

“He has promised to deliver Brexit on 31st October, deal or no-deal and has shown time and time again that he is a dynamic leader, capable of building a strong team around him that will deliver on his promises.”







Last year Boris said he supported TV debates

The opinion polls support a boast made by Mr Johnson at hustings in front of Tory activists that he would “take away the oxygen of Nigel Farage and the Lib Dems, and then defeat Jeremy Corbyn and his antiquated Labour Party”.

But while his support continues to grow, Mr Johnson has been accused by rivals of hiding away from the media. And when the first TV debate between the candidates is held later today, on Channel 4, he won’t be there.

Mr Johnson is snubbing the debate, claiming the proposed six-way programme would be “cacophonous” and “blue-on-blue”, with “loads of candidates”.

He has, however, said he will take part in a BBC debate due to take place on Tuesday, after the next round of voting by MPs, when there will be fewer candidates left in the race.

Sky News is planning to host a 90-minute debate between the final two candidates.







Home Secretary Sajid Javid believes ‘someone’ from No.10 decided to not invite him to Trump state dinner banquet.

Mr Johnson’s closest challenger, Mr Hunt, who earlier accused Mr Johnson of “hiding away” and “not taking part in these big occasions”, has also accused his predecessor as foreign secretary of a lack of credibility on the world stage.

“We cannot become the party that pulls up the drawbridge or sticks two fingers up to the rest of world,” he writes in The Observer. “It has never been more important to re-engage.”

Meanwhile, there was growing alarm among pro-European Tories at the prospect Mr Johnson takes Britain out of the EU on 31 October, even if he has been unable to secure a new deal with Brussels.

Veteran former chancellor Ken Clarke said that in those circumstances he would vote to bring down the government.

“If some idiot was sailing into a no-deal Brexit I’d decide politics had finally gone mad and vote against it,” he told The Observer.

:: Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab will be joining Sophy Ridge on Sunday from 9am.

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