Brexit: Amber Rudd brands Boris Johnson 'backseat driver'

Brexit: Amber Rudd brands Boris Johnson 'backseat driver'

The two Cabinet ministers, who led the Vote Leave referendum campaign with Mr Johnson previous year, are backing his demand that after Brexit Britain makes good on a pledge to spend some of the £350million which the United Kingdom sends to the European Union on the National Health Service.

A key campaign hook for Vote Leave supporters during the Brexit debate, the assumption that £350 million could be invested in the health system was based on 2014 Treasury data.

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

However, it caused controversy amid warnings that it did not take into account Britain's rebate from the EU.

Sir Craig Oliver, former director of communications at Downing Street for David Cameron, said even if the genuine intention was to support the Prime Minister, it was obvious it would be seen in Westminster as a "direct challenge". It would be a fine thing as many of us have pointed out if a lot of that money went on the NHS, provided we use that cash injection to modernise and make the most of new technology...

That was in 2014.

"As we prepare to leave the European Union it is therefore vital that we agree a new way to ensure continued security, law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation", she said.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna MP, a supporter of anti-Brexit group Open Britain, did not hold back in his attack on Johnson.

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Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: "Boris' £350m lie has been exposed yet again. It's a shame the same can't be said of Theresa May".

Johnson's only comment since his Telegraph article was published was on Twitter, where he said he was "looking forward" to May's speech in Florence later this week.

The Home Secretary described her colleague as an "irrepressible enthusiast" on Brexit who brought "enthusiasm, energy, and sometimes entertainment" to the Cabinet.

Ms Rudd said she did not believe it was a prelude to a leadership challenge.

'I don't want him managing the Brexit process, ' says Amber Rudd. "I am going to make sure, as far as I and the rest of the cabinet is concerned, we help her do that", she told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show.

Mr Johnson also insisted that Brexit will allow the United Kingdom to "be the greatest country on earth" and "our destiny will be in our own hands".

But the in-depth article on life after March 2019 was released just six days before the Prime Minister sets out her Brexit blueprint in a speech in Florence.

Several prominent Leave campaigners have distanced themselves from the £350m figure in the wake of the referendum result although others have continued to insist it is legitimate.

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