Boris Johnson has refused to say whether or not he would resign as prime minister if he does not ship Brexit by 31 October.
He was repeatedly challenged over what he would do by rival Jeremy Hunt throughout a TV debate that was marked by private assaults.
Mr Johnson has beforehand vowed – if he wins the race to succeed Theresa Might as prime minister – that the UK will depart the EU on the present Halloween deadline “do or die”.
Mr Hunt took the chance of the primary head-to-head debate to badger his rival over the Brexit pledge.
“Will you resign if you happen to do not ship it, sure or no?,” Mr Hunt requested.
Mr Johnson, the clear favorite to develop into PM, replied: “I believe it is very, essential to not envisage any circumstances during which we might fail to return out of the EU on 31 October.
“I do not wish to maintain out to the EU the prospect that they encourage my resignation by refusing to agree a deal.”
Mr Hunt, the international secretary, has stated he additionally desires the UK to depart the EU on 31 October.
However he could be prepared to countenance an additional delay to Brexit if it helps obtain a cope with the bloc.
In the course of the ITV-hosted debate Mr Johnson claimed Mr Hunt is “clearly not dedicated to popping out of the EU on 31 October” and branded the shortage of a tough deadline “completely defeatist”.
He prompt the EU wouldn’t take the UK significantly with a “papier-mache” Brexit deadline.
Mr Hunt responded: “It isn’t do or die, is it? It is Boris in Quantity 10 that issues.”
He additionally accused Mr Johnson of “peddling optimism” over Brexit, including: “Being prime minister is about telling folks what they should hear, not simply what they wish to hear.”
Johnson once more refuses to rule out suspending parliament over no-deal Brexit
Mr Johnson once more refused to rule out suspending parliament this autumn with a view to push via a no-deal Brexit.
“I am not going to take something off the desk, any greater than I will take no deal off the desk,” he stated.
“I believe it is completely weird at this stage within the negotiations for the UK – but once more – to be weakening its personal place.”
However Mr Hunt stated it could be “moderately curious” to close down parliament if Brexit is meant to be about “taking again management”.
“When that has occurred up to now, when parliament has been shut down towards its will, we truly had a civil warfare,” he stated.
Hunt assaults Johnson’s ‘fallacious message’ on tax cuts for prime earners
The exchanges between the candidates additionally turned private once they had been each challenged on their tax plans.
Mr Hunt admitted his pledge to chop company tax was “not the preferred”, however cited the expansion of the US economic system since Donald Trump took related motion.
Mr Johnson promised his “agenda” would “give attention to those that are hardest pressed” however got here below assault for his vow to chop taxes for larger earners.
He stated his plans to chop taxes for these incomes greater than £50,000 had been a part of a “wide-ranging package deal, beginning with folks on low, modest incomes”.
The previous London mayor described it as”authentic” to debate attempting to forestall public servants, corresponding to headteachers, being dragged into larger tax charges.
However Mr Hunt stated: “I’ve spent my life attempting to influence those that we aren’t the celebration of the wealthy.
“In case your very first tax cuts are for larger fee earners that is the fallacious message.”
Johnson makes play of Hunt’s help for Stay
The international secretary incessantly accused Mr Johnson of avoiding questions all through the controversy, claiming at one level: “As a result of Boris by no means solutions the query we now have bought completely no thought what a Boris premiership could be about.”
Requested what high quality he most admired about his rival, Mr Hunt quipped: “I actually admire Boris’s skill to reply the query.
“I believe he has this nice skill – you ask him a query, he places a smile in your face, and also you neglect what the query was.
“It is a good high quality for a politician, possibly not a first-rate minister although.”
Mr Johnson highlighted Mr Hunt’s earlier help for remaining within the EU, saying: “I enormously admire his skill to vary his thoughts and marketing campaign for Brexit now and I believe that is a vital attribute.”
In his closing assertion, Mr Johnson stated delivering Brexit by 31 October was the “just one option to get this nation off the hamster wheel of doom”.
Mr Hunt, a former well being secretary, took goal at Mr Johnson’s EU referendum pledge to spice up well being spending.
He stated: “Boris promised cash for the NHS – I delivered it. I’ll ship Brexit as properly.
“I solely make guarantees I can preserve and our nation deserves no much less.”