Britain's Boris Johnson accused of Brexit 'backseat driving'

May hopes to boost Bombardier on trade mission to Canada

Asked about Johnson's article in the Telegraph, published online late Friday, in which he laid out his vision of Brexit, Home Secretary Rudd told the BBC's Andrew Marr that the foreign secretary was allowed to be enthusiastic but he was "not driving the vehicle".

What we've got is Theresa May managing that process - and I'm going to make sure, as far as I'm concerned and the rest of the Cabinet is concerned, we help her do that.

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".

Ending jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Britain was a key rallying cry of pro-Brexit campaigners ahead of last year's referendum on EU membership, along with calls to cut migration to the country.

He wrote: "I must say that I was surprised and disappointed by your letter of today, since it was based on what appeared to be a wilful distortion of the text of my article".

The Foreign secretary has desmarado with its own manifesto of 4,000 words in pages of influential conservative daily The Daily Telegraph, become for a day in something like The Boris Telegraph.

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

She agreed with Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson that the timing was bad.

BORIS JOHNSON will hold crunch European Union talks with Theresa May this week after his explosive Brexit blueprint plunged the Cabinet into disarray.

When politicians criticise colleagues on their own side, in public, they often indulge in a little understatement. "I didn't have time to read that piece", she told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

However, Rudd said Johnson was an "irrepressible enthusiast" about Brexit and that she did not see it as a leadership bid.

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.

Mr Johnson has written to Sir David saying he is "surprised and disappointed" about the statistics chief's letter criticising his article.

Mr Johnson's decision to release the article just six days before Mrs May is due to set out her plans for Brexit in a speech in Florence prompted claims in the Mail on Sunday that allies of the PM believe the move is "hostile" and "attention seeking".

May's deputy, Damian Green, also weighed in on Sunday, saying that Johnson had written a "very exuberant" article but it is "absolutely clear to everyone that the driver of the vehicle in this instance is the prime minister".

The Prime Minister's allies have said Mr Johnson will keep his job and suggested "people should calm down".

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