Boris Johnson discusses partygate and Brexit three years on
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Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch, who is considered to be a rising star in the Conservative Party, has been told to forget about her leadership ambitions after her role in the coup to bring down Boris Johnson. It comes as a second batch of Whatsapp messages showing Ms Badenoch pushing ministerial colleagues into resigning from the former Prime Minister’s Government has emerged.
The revelations have come as Tory grassroots campaigners have started to target ministers who resigned from Boris Johnson’s Government en masse to force him to quit.
The events happened in the wake of the scandal involving Christopher Pincher who had been forced to resign as deputy chief whip following allegations about his behaviour in the Carlton Club.
Ms Badenoch was one of many ministers to resign on July 6 when she quit as Housing Minister in the Department for Levelling Up and Communities headed by Michael Gove, who would go on to run her subsequent leadership campaign.
But the Whatsapp group revelations from the private group for the department’s ministers have revealed the Saffron Walden MP was active in pushing others to resign as well.
In the latest batch from the group, Ms Badenoch can be seen saying: “C’mon Danny Kruger… you know you want to!”
Mr Kruger, a former special advisor soon joined her in resigning.
She also asked Richard Harrington if he quit, he later did.
Another message to Sarah Dines shows Ms Badenoch saying: “DO IT DO IT DO IT”.
When Ms Dines refused to quit she was removed from the group by Ms Badenoch along with Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes and Lord Greenhalgh who also both remained loyal to Mr Johnson.
The messages have been revealed by Lord Greenhalgh, who is Vice President and co-founder of the grassroots Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO), set up to restore power to the party membership.
Reacting, former Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is also a supporter of the CDO and close ally of Mr Johnson, hit out at Ms Badenoch.
She Tweeted: “Duplicity, dishonestly and self interest….exactly why the public distrust so many senior politicians….”
Lord Greenhalgh commented: “Insight into the feverish herd-like mentality within this @luhc ex ministerial @WhatsApp group. As @EddieHughes4WN + I remained in post, we were removed. Both Eddie + I resigned AFTER @BorisJohnson announced his resignation. We were the counter herd!”
Lord Cruddas, President of the CDO, also went on the attack over Ms Badenoch.
He told Express.co.uk: “It illustrates the betrayal of Boris but above all the betrayal of the 2019 GE result and a complete disregard of the electorate. It shows Kemi’s real character as a person that can not be trusted.”
The row comes after a hitlist of MPs who resigned from Mr Johnson’s Government was revealed to Express.co.uk showing anti-Boris MPs being targeted for deselection.
This weekend Stafford MP Theo Clarke who quit as a trade envoy was deselected.
This followed Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart and Stoke Central MP Jo Gideon.
Damian Green, chairman of the One Nation Group who was Theresa May’s Deputy Prime Minister, has also fallen foul of members in his bid for reselection.
Ms Badenoch was on the list of those being targeted although 19 have already resecured their nominations.
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