Scottish Tories want to stop Boris Johnson becoming party leader amid fears it would reverse successes

Written by Kevin Schofield on 2 October 2018 in News

Polling has suggested that Boris Johnson becoming party leader would reverse the Tories gains in Scotland

Boris Johnson - Image credit: PA Images

The Scottish Conservatives are working to stop Boris Johnson becoming prime minister amid fears it would end the party's revival north of the border and boost the campaign for independence.

Senior sources said it would be a "nightmare" for the Scottish Conservatives' fortunes if Johnson were to enter 10 Downing Street.

Private polling shows that he is the only potential successor to Theresa May who would see support for the Tories go into reverse in Scotland.

Details of the bid to block Johnson's leadership ambitions emerged as the former foreign secretary prepares to set out his vision for the Conservatives at the party conference in Birmingham.

"We must on no account follow Corbyn, and start to treat capitalism as a kind of boo word," he will say.

Johnson is expected to draw a huge crowd for his speech, which will inevitably be seen as a direct challenge to Theresa May.

But one senior Scottish Conservative said: "He must be stopped, it's as simple as that.

"Our polling shows that he is the only potential leader who actually makes support for us fall.

“He could also boost support for Scottish independence."

One insider revealed the plot to stop Johnson has been dubbed 'Operation A**e".

The flamboyant Tory bigwig, who quit as foreign secretary over the Prime Minister's Brexit strategy, has angered many of his colleagues with a series of direct attacks on the Prime Minister.

Speaking yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond said he did not believe he would ever be prime minister.

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