September 06, 2019
Boris Johnson has said he wants to “reach out” to Tory rebels he purged for voting to block a no-deal Brexit.
Boris Johnson Suggests He Could Allow Sacked Tory Brexit Rebels Back Into Party
The prime minister said he wanted to find a way of building bridges with the rebels, who backed a Commons takeover of the Brexit process to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal on October 31.
Johnson’s decision to sack 21 backbenchers from the party sparked a cabinet revolt, with Chancellor Sajid Javid among those calling for the group to be allowed back into the fold.
Former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond, and Sir Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill, were among the group.
Quizzed on the status of the rebels during a visit to Scotland, Johnson said: “It grieved me deeply.
“These are friends of mine and I have worked with them for many years but we have to get Brexit done.
“And we were being very clear about the risks we’re running now in snarling up the process of leaving the EU in parliament.
“Yes of course I’m going to reach out to those colleagues and have been reaching out to them, try and find ways of building bridges.
“But I’ve got to be clear we must get Brexit done and that’s my message to colleagues.
“Let’s come together, get this thing over the line and unite our country, then get on with defeating the Labour opposition when they finally have the guts to have an election.”
Johnson meanwhile would not be drawn on whether he will resign if he cannot deliver Brexit on October 31.The Tory rebels and opposition parties are expected to succeed today in passing legislation to block no deal through the Lords, and the PM’s chances of getting a new deal through parliament in time appear slim.
With Labour and other opposition parties resisting a general election until no deal is taken off the table, Johnson’s promise to deliver Brexit “do or die” by October 31 is hanging by a thread.
But Johnson refused to say whether he would quit if he fails.
“That is not a hypothesis I’m willing to contemplate,” he said. 
“I want us to get this thing done.
“And I think the people of this country also do. And there’s an opportunity to be so much more positive about this.”
Johnson said he was now focused on getting a deal at the October 17-18 European Council summit.
“I’ve never known an opposition in the history of democracy that’s refused to have an election but that’s their choice,” he said.
“I think obviously they don’t trust the people, they don’t think that the people will vote for them, so they’re refusing to have an election.
“And so what we will do is we will go to the summit on the 17th (October), we’ll get a deal and we’ll come out on October 31.”
Downing Street would not be drawn on whether the PM would resign if forced into a position where he had to seek a Brexit delay.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “I think that the prime minister has made his position on extension clear a number of times this week.
“In relation to MPs and the decisions they are facing, the PM has said that the current position is unsustainable and that MPs should consider over the weekend whether they are prepared to face up to the consequence of the actions from this week in passing a Bill that wrecks our negotiations and seeks to impose an indefinite delay to Brexit.
“He has been very clear that they must take responsibility for their actions and face the public in a general election.”
Challenged that she had not ruled out the possibility that the prime minister might resign, the spokeswoman added: “We are taking one step at a time here and the next step is for MPs to consider over the weekend the decision that they will take on Monday.
“The PM believes that the public should be given a say through a general election on who goes to Brussels, to the European Council, in October.”Related... Labour Will Not Vote For Boris Johnson's Early General Election, Confirms Emily Thornberry Gina Miller Loses High Court Challenge Against Boris Johnson's Suspension Of Parliament Boris Johnson Will Launch Another Bid For A Snap Election In The Commons On Monday
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