Speaking on Brexitcast, the BBC editor claimed to have been shown an envelope with the number 114 written inside by the Boris Johnson‘s campaign team ahead of the results of the first round of the Tory leadership contest. 114 was the exact number of MPs the former Foreign Secretary received the support of at the end of the first round, proving his team had been particularly organised in analysing their data.
She said: “In terms of the Johnson campaign, it is different this time around.
“And I’m not saying he’s not going to implode and he has a big capacity for making gaffes and making things harder – and as Alan Duncan, his former number two in the Foreign Office said – ‘the only person who can beat Boris Johnson is Boris Johnson’.
“But they are organised this time. And one of the reasons I know that is because somebody showed me today a picture of an envelope that had been open this afternoon with the number 114 written inside it which their campaign had written down from their data of the number of votes that thought he would get.”
At which point, fellow BBC editor Katya Adler joked: “Like a magic trick.”
In his first broadcast interview since the leadership contest began, the former Foreign Secretary told BBC Radio 4 World at One that he would “disaggregate” Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, starting from the promises made to EU citizens right.
Boris Johnson pledged he would allow Parliament to pass legislation to unilaterally write in law the promises made to 3.2 million EU citizens to have the right to remain in the UK and continue to enjoy their rights.
He said: “There is a clear way that the now effectively defunct withdrawal agreement can be disaggregated.
“The good bits of it can be taken out.
“For instance, one thing that would be immediately right to do, which I suggested straight after the referendum result three years ago – I think what we should do is take the provisions on citizenship, take the offer that we’ve made to the 3.2 million EU citizens in our country and do it in an erogatory way.
“Do it of our own accord, pass it through Parliament. Then there’s the question of the ongoing court cases, the EU officials pension rights and lesser matters.”
Questioned on the issue of the backstop, he argued there is an “obvious solution” to the concern around the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
He vowed to be able to “convince” the EU to discuss issues of trade – and with those issues around the backstop protocol – only during the transition period and after a withdrawal agreement was passed by MPs in the Commons.
He said: “The obvious way to do it is to make sure that you have checks on anybody who breaks the law as you would expect but you do it away from the border.”