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Brexit: Boris Johnson 'back-seat driving' over Brexit, says Rudd

Brexit: Boris Johnson 'back-seat driving' over Brexit, says Rudd
From BBC - September 17, 2017

Boris Johnson has been accused of being a Brexit "back-seat driver" by the home secretary.

Amber Rudd said it was fine for Mr Johnson to show his enthusiasm but he was not "driving the car" after he set out his vision for the UK post-Brexit on Saturday.

She said ministers must be united in their approach and help the prime minister manage the Brexit process.

The BBC understands Mr Johnson will not be sacked despite anger among some MPs.

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable urged the prime minister to "fire this guy on Monday morning", warning that if she did not act her authority would be "reduced to zero".

The home secretary said she had been too busy dealing with the terror attack in London to read the foreign secretary's article in Saturday's Daily Telegraph.

No leadership challenge

But asked about Mr Johnson's intervention, she said: "You could call it back-seat driving, absolutely."

"I do not want him managing the Brexit process, what we have got is Theresa May managing the process, driving the car. I am going to make sure, as far as I and the rest of the cabinet is concerned, we help her do that."

Asked whether she shared the concerns of those - including Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson - who have criticised the timing of the intervention. she said they had a point.

"I know what an irrepressible enthusiast (Johnson) is about Brexit, and what he's done is set it out there, I think it's absolutely fine, I would expect nothing less from Boris," she said.

Analysis: Reaction 'rather more salty'

By BBC political correspondent Chris Mason

When politicians criticise colleagues on their own side, in public, they often indulge in a little understatement.

When you hear, for instance, a reference to a "robust exchange of views", you can assume the encounter actually bordered on the violent.

So, when Mrs May's de facto deputy, Damian Green, told BBC Radio 5live that the timing of Mr Johnson's intervention "could have been better for all sorts of reasons", you can imagine that the reaction privately, from some, has been rather more salty.

Security treaty

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