Theresa May watches on as Boris Johnson dismissed as 'irrelevant and offensive'

Conservative Party annual conference 2018

As Conservative lawmakers and party members began arriving in Birmingham, central England, for what is expected to be a fractious party conference which starts on Sunday, many have said the Chequers plans are dead and should be torn up.

He also criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg for pledging financial security in Britain after Brexit at the same time as opening an investment fund in Ireland to transfer his money over.

He quit after May got the remaining ministers to rally around her proposal for Britain to follow European Union rules for goods after Brexit.

He said: "We must engage in this battle and turn our fire on the enemy, Jeremy Corbyn and his risky hard-left ideas".

Mrs May will borrow the Labour leader's "For the many, not the few" slogan as she declares that Conservatives are "a party not for the few, not even for the many, but for everyone who is willing to work hard and do their best".

May said Johnson's Brexit ideas are unworkable. But he was quick to add he would stick by May, if not her plan, at least for now.

Ahead of his conference appearance, he was pictured out jogging, in what some interpreted as a "parody" of Mrs May's claim that the "naughtiest" thing she did as a child was to run through a field of wheat.

Mrs May, who remains committed to the goal of cutting net annual immigration below 100,000, said the long-awaited Tory plans would be fair for "ordinary working people".

While Mr Johnson's Brexit message was greeted with the greatest rapture, his attack on the opposition Labour Party and calls for the Conservatives to return to the party's traditional values of low tax and strong policing were also enthusiastically received.

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At the foot of the stage there was a press scrum, cameras trained on former Brexit ministers David Davis and Steve Baker in the front row - alongside Stanley Johnson who'd come to see his son. But she stops short of saying Mr. Johnson would make a good leader or that he should be pushing for the job now. May's Brexit strategy, saying she's a "captive of the establishment", but he said a tumultuous leadership fight now would be "a disaster" for the party.

He added: "We will not outbid Corbyn with short-term gimmicks that cause long-term damage; we will not outspend him with reckless borrowing; we will not promise the illusory utopia he offers because, as those who have tried it have shown time and time again, it is based on a lie and it always ends in tears". "My letter of no confidence (in the prime minister) is in there as a marker on the ground".

May acknowledged that Johnson's speech had made her "cross" but said she was sticking to her Brexit blueprint. "We are leaving the European Union in fact, not just in name".

"What it says is, if a conflict situation, armed conflict obviously, appears to be arising, the Northern Ireland people themselves will have a referendum", he said.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said the United Kingdom should build a bridge to Ireland and put the HS2 rail line on hold to focus on a high-speed link in the north of England.

"You know we, he and I, are all members of the Conservative and Unionist Party".

In a rhetorical flourish, he said the Chequers Plan would result in the equivalent of Britain being "paraded in manacles down the Rue de la Loi [in Brussels] like Caractacus". And we have a guarantee for the people of Northern Ireland and we are upholding that.

"But what we've been doing here at conference of course and I think what matters to people out there is what the government does and what we focus on in terms of their day to day lives and what really matters to them".

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