Boris Johnson should have stuck up two fingers to Gove and fought on

The Conservative Party could always keep a secret.

Often frustrated beyond measure, Fleet Street has rarely been able to uncover its murky goings on.

But now, the Tories have become one of the most leaky organisations in the country and what has been revealed about the progress of the leadership battle does not make edifying reading at all.

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Michael Gove’s so-called political “assassination” and “midnight treachery” towards his Brexiteer colleague Boris Johnson demonstrated how long-standing friendships can be destroyed overnight in the back-stabbing world of politics.

But what I genuinely fail to understand is why Johnson, in the light of this, decided to quit the contest. Why did he not metaphorically stick two fingers up at Gove and say, “To hell with you, I am going to fight on”.

If Johnson feared humiliation when the votes are counted, so be it, but I think he would have been wrong. My bet is he would still have been Theresa May’s principal challenger and that Gove would have been the sufferer because of what many Tory voters might regard as his reprehensible conduct.

This is borne out by the fact Gove appears to have lost some of the support he gained from Johnson, to Andrea Leadsom who is now second favourite hot on May’s kitten-heels.

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Leadsom, an Energy Minister, scarcely heard of outside Westminster, is a hugely competent operator, in the mould of Margaret Thatcher, but she has a massive task in catching up with May who appears to have a commanding lead.

Meanwhile, the other candidates, Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox, seem to have quietly disappeared into the wilderness.

And when it comes to U-turns, David Cameron is leading the field. During the campaign, he dramatically echoed Peter Mandelson’s declaration: “I am not a quitter.” Yet the first thing he did after the referendum was quit.

Now to the obduracy of Barnacle Bill, Jeremy Corbyn, who must rank as the worst Labour Party leader since Michael Foot, and probably before that. How he has the brass neck to stay on even though most of the parliamentary Labour Party are praying for his downfall, remains a mystery.

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He argues that Westminster is only a small fraction of the people who voted him in as leader a year ago, and who gave him a solid mandate, and that he owes it to the others to battle on. However, some trade unions who have been polled, say they want him out too.

But he has to work day in, day out, with his colleagues at Westminster, and that task must be nigh impossible when nearly all the people on his side want him to disappear.

By his stubborn attitude, he is doing no one any favours. He has ignored calls for him to go from David Cameron (unsurprisingly), Lord Kinnock and many others. He must have a skin thicker than that of a rhinoceros to stay on in these circumstances.

But Labour chose him as an act of democracy, and are now finding they cannot dump him.

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The referendum was barely over before the hordes, in their thousands, were marching through central London, disrupting the traffic and everyone else, with some people saying they wanted a re-run because they had changed their minds about voting Brexit.

Sorry, but too late.

People were already complaining that the campaign was too long, so these protesters had plenty of time to change their minds half a dozen times during its course. But they inexplicably chose to wait until it was all over.

They claim to have been misled by the other side, but both sides said things they knew could not be true. That is what politicians do.

So they should stop behaving like spoilt brats and accept the result.

If they don’t like it... tough!

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The former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, ex-deputy Prime Minister, says there should be a general election to validate a new Prime Minister.

Is he secretly hoping to lose his Parliamentary seat in Sheffield so he can get a big job elsewhere? But not, alas for him, I imagine in his beloved European Union.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, has “come out” as a lesbian.

Who cares?

People should be more interested in what she is doing to prevent millions of pounds of overseas aid falling into the wrong hands, than her private domestic arrangements.