- Candidates for Conservative Party leader are being grilled by journalists on Monday about their plans for the premiership.
- The off-camera hustings are taking place inside Parliament, with each candidate fielding questions in turn.
- Refresh this page for regular updates.
- Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.
LONDON — Conservative leadership candidates on Monday face a grilling from journalists about their plans to break the Brexit deadlock and the policies they would introduce as prime minister.
Five of the six candidates left in the race to replace Theresa May in Downing Street — Rory Stewart, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, and Sajid Javid — have agreed participate in the hustings, which takes place in parliament at Westminster, but Boris Johnson has been accused of avoiding scrutiny by refusing to participate.
The former foreign secretary — a breakaway favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister — has opted not to make an appearance in parliament to face questions from journalists.
His campaign team say he is busy preparing for the BBC TV debate tomorrow which he has agreed to participate in, having also refused to appear on a leadership debate on Sunday night hosted by Channel 4.
Follow Business Insider’s live blog as leadership candidates are grilled on their policies.
1. Rory Stewart: ‘We’ve got four other candidates selling unicorns’
Kicking off is Rory Stewart, who says it is "for the birds" to claim that the next prime minister could get a new Brexit deal from Brussels and says trying to do so would "waste an astonishing amount of time."
His plan is to try and persuade parliament to support his Brexit deal. The International Development Secretary says have "every reason" to think his plan to get the current Brexit plan approved by parliament will fail "because, of course, Theresa May failed three times."
He says his "plan B" is to form a Citizens’ Assembly as a "threat to parliament." It would be formed of a representative section of the population — much like a jury — and offer a number of recommendations to parliament on how to break the Brexit deadlock.
He says he would not allow a Citizens’ Assembly to recommend an undeliverable Brexit deal — a "unicorn that’s never going to get through Brussels."
"What’s the point of that? We’ve got four other candidates selling unicorns," he says.
Stewart needs to persuade about 45 MPs to support Theresa May’s Brexit deal in order for it to pass. He reckons about 12 of those would come from Tory colleagues, meaning he would have to reach out to opposition benches to get the deal through, targeting Labour politicians in Leave-voting seats like Lisa Nandy, the MP for Wigan, he said.
He ducked the question of whether he would vote to leave or remain in a second referendum and says it would be a "very difficult decision".
But he says it would be "catastrophic" if there was another vote. "Second referendum: really bad idea," he says.
- Here’s the lineup for the first 2020 Democratic presidential debates taking place later this month
- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is out — here are all the casualties of the Trump administration so far
- What each 2020 Democratic candidate’s walk-out song says about them, according to Pandora’s musicologist