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Boris Johnson's party management problem is getting worse – his allies want action

4 17 9

Following a week of bad headlines and internal party rows over government proposals to break international law and rewrite parts of the withdrawal agreement, No. 10 Brexit adviser Oliver Lewis addressed frustrated Tory backbenchers and former ministers.

He told the group that mistakes had been made in how Downing Street had communicated its plan to overwrite parts of the withdrawal agreement and break international law. Lewis – a Vote Leave staffer and senior figure in Downing Street – said that No.10’s engagement with MPs had not been as good as it should have been.

‘Operation Moonshot? More like operation moonf**k’: Mutiny brewing as Tory MPs look ahead to a miserable Christmas

He said the leak to the Financial Times last week revealing the proposals several days earlier than planned meant the starting gun had been fired before they were ready. While the appearance served to soothe some of the frustrations, not everyone in the room was won over. When Johnson’s controversial bill faces amendments on the Northern Ireland protocol next week, the rebellion still has the potential to be sizeable.

But no matter what happens in the Commons next week, the whole debacle has raised questions that go beyond Brexit. It’s become........

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