BORIS JOHNSON will refuse to leave Downing Street even if he is removed from power by MPs, senior sources have said.
The Tory leader (above) is ready to ‘squat’ in No.10 in an attempt to force through Brexit and would only leave the building if police dragged him out, The Sunday Times reported. Downing Street yesterday refused to deny the claims.
Mr Johnson’s opponents, who have passed a law to stop a no-deal on October 31, are considering a bid to vote him out of office and install a caretaker prime minister they could rely on to delay Brexit. But a cabinet minister said: ‘Our opponents have flouted convention and there is nothing in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act that says you have to resign.
‘The Queen is not going to fire the prime minister. She would dissolve parliament and let the people decide.’
Tory Michael Heseltine declared he was ‘stupefied’ by the claims, which he said must be from ‘the control centre behind the Boris machine’.
The pro-EU former deputy PM told LBC radio: ‘I think this is across the threshold of insanity.
‘What this really means is that No.10, a defeated prime minister, is going to take on the courts, he’s going to take on parliament, he’s going to take on the police, he’s going to defy the constitution and, of course, in the context, he’s going to involve the Queen in a constitutional row — the like of which none of us have ever dreamt of seeing.’
Legal commentator Chris Daw QC tweeted: ‘If even 20 per cent of this story is true, Boris Johnson has lost whatever small part of the plot he was clinging on to. The leader of a minority party, who has never led the Tories into an election, unlawfully squatting in Number 10. This is anarchy.’
Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay refused to deny the claims on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday.
But he said the government would comply with the Benn Act — the law against a no-deal. ‘I can absolutely confirm that the government will abide by the law,’ he said.
Mr Johnson has ruled out asking Brussels for another delay to Brexit if he fails to get a deal. But there is speculation he will try to find a loophole in the act.
The PM will be lobbying EU leaders this week over his bid to keep the Irish border open without the controversial backstop that scuppered Theresa May’s deal. He spoke with France’s Emmanuel Macron at the weekend.
Mr Johnson wrote in The Sun On Sunday: ‘I say to our European friends, grasp the opportunity our new proposal provides.’