Boris Johnson 'had to be told to stand up and clap for Theresa May'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at the Conservative Party conference (Reuters/Hannah McKay)

A video has emerged that appears to show Home Secretary Amber Rudd telling Boris Johnson to stand up and applaud Theresa May.

The keynote address at the Conservative Party Conference was meant to put to bed talk of Cabinet splits and leadership challenges.

But following a speech plagued by disasters – in which the Prime Minister was outshone by first a protester handing her a P45, and then by her own hacking cough – Mr Johnson’s loyalty was thrown deeper into question.

In the video, Ms Rudd can be seen gesturing to the Foreign Secretary at the end of the Prime Minister’s speech to get him out of his seat.

When asked later if she had urged Mr Johnson to stand, Mrs Rudd merely said: ‘Boris will always do the right thing.’

Mr Johnson has been accused of trying to undermine Ms May after intervening in the Government’s Brexit negotiations by publishing a set of his own ‘red lines’ in a newspaper article.

But Mrs May denied he was doing any such thing, insisting she does not want a cabinet of ‘yes men’.

Theresa May struggled through her keynote speech at the conference, after a protester stormed to the stage and handed her a P45, before she was overcome by a coughing fit.

She spluttered for several agonising minutes after days of battling a cough and cold.

Theresa May lost her voice during her Tory conference speech (PA)

The Prime Minister was handed a cough sweet by Chancellor Philip Hammond as she continued to cough while delivering the speech.

Tories in attendance gave Mrs May a long standing ovation in an attempt to let her compose herself before continuing.

Twitter erupted following the incident, with reactions ranging from people feeling sorry for Mrs May to people warming to her – coming one day after she insisted she “had feelings”.

Mrs May earlier apologised to her party for her performance in the botched campaign for this year’s snap election.

She admitted the campaign was “too scripted, too presidential” and said she took responsibility for its shortcomings.


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After calling an election three years early in the hope of increasing her dominance in the House of Commons, Mrs May lost 13 MPs and forfeited her majority, forcing her into a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.

She won long applause from party delegates as she said: “We did not get the victory we wanted because our national campaign fell short.

“It was too scripted. Too presidential.

Mrs May battled on to deliver her speech (PA)

Energy price cap

The government will publish a bill to cap energy prices next week, Theresa May announced.

She told the conference that it was now clear that the energy market was “broken” and that those being “punished” by higher prices were the most loyal customers, often the poor, elderly and less-educated and those in rented homes.

New homes boost

The Prime Minister announced a major boost to council house building, with an additional £2 billion of Government money to fund affordable homes.

She promised to ‘renew the British dream for a new generation of young people” who feel they have been locked out of economic progress.’


Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

She said: ‘We did not get the victory we wanted because our national campaign fell short.

‘It was too scripted. Too presidential.

‘And it allowed the Labour Party to paint us as the voice of continuity when the public wanted to hear a message of change.

‘I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility. I led the campaign. And I am sorry.’

Mental health act review

Mrs May announced that an expert will lead a review of the Mental Health Act to tackle injustice and discrimination in the system.

She said Professor Sir Simon Wessely would review the legislation to address ‘widespread concern’ that the act is open to misuse.

‘Detention rates under the Mental Health Act are too high,’ she told the Manchester crowd.

Brexit stalemate

The lack of progress in the Brexit talks received a mention, with Mrs May insisting that she was ‘confident we will find a deal that works for Britain and Europe too’ and would usher in ‘a global Britain that stands tall in the world’.

And she explicitly stated that the Government was preparing for the possibility that no deal will be reached.

In an olive branch to critics of her refusal unilaterally to offer EU citizens in the UK the right to stay, she sent a message to the three million EU expats living in Britain: ‘We want you to stay.’