BORIS JOHNSON yesterday doubled down on his decision to boot out 21 ‘Europhile’ Tory MPs – saying it had to happen to deliver Brexit.
Speaking on a campaign visit to Scotland, the PM said the mass sackings of MPs such as Sir Nicholas Soames and David Gauke for backing Labour’s anti-No Deal bill earlier this week “grieved me deeply”.
But he said: “We have to get Brexit done and we have been very clear about the risk of snarling up leaving the EU in Parliament.”
Despite yesterday insisting he was “building bridges” with the rebels, sources told The Sun that he has only spoken to one – Richard Benyon.
And Danny Kruger, the PM’s political secretary, spent Thursday ringing local association chiefs of ex-MPs such as Rory Stewart telling them they would be de-selected ahead of the upcoming election.
Yesterday’s move came as former energy minister Claire Perry piled pressure on No.10 by becoming the latest Tory MP to announce they would not stand at the next Election.
While backing Mr Johnson’s “brave” Brexit plan, she follows Richard Harrington, Michael Fallon and London Minister Nick Hurd in retiring.
And sources told The Sun that nearly TEN MORE Tories would announce plans to step down this weekend – including ex-foreign minister Mark Field.
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Separately the Lib Dems were said to be confident they could win up to 20 Tory seats in any election – across south London and south-west England including Esher – currently held by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
One source said: “The Libs are focusing on 100 ‘target seats’ and think they can get up to 20.
The Lib Dems yesterday announced that ex-Labour, ex-Change UK MP Chuka Umunna would target the Cities of London and Westminster seat currently held by Mark Field in any Election.
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