Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Boris Johnson secured their places as the final contenders for Tory leadership after UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally stepped down as a head of the Conservative Party on 7 June.
Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May as well as Tory leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were criticised by Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice, who blamed them for turning a blind eye to his party’s letter regarding a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“It is over two weeks now since we delivered a letter to the current Prime Minister Theresa May asking that we should be allowed in to look at the state of no deal preparations. It is pretty shocking that we have had no reply either from the Prime Minister or from any of the candidates,” Tice told reporters earlier this week.
He recalled that his party had “a direct democratic mandate to be involved in the negotiations”, adding that “this way we can give confidence to the people on leaving with a WTO Brexit and that should happen now”.
The statement comes after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage reportedly said that he won’t trust Johnson to fill May’s shoes as the UK’s Prime Minister until he delivers on his promise to take Britain out of the EU by the end of October, with or without a deal.
Johnson, for his part, told the BBC earlier this week that the withdrawal deal, which was negotiated by departing Prime Minister Theresa May and rejected three times by UK MPs, is “dead”.
At the same time, Johnson claimed that it was still possible to seal a new agreement with the EU before the new deadline of 31 October.
He insisted that if he was elected Prime Minister, he would initiate a new round of talks with Brussels as soon as he reached No. 10 to discuss a free trade agreement. Johnson added that he did “not believe for a moment” that the UK would pull out without a deal, even though he was willing to do so.
When Theresa May announced her resignation in May, at least 10 contenders launched bids to take her spot, with Johnson and Hunt securing their places as the final contenders for the Tory leadership.
In the final parliamentary vote for MPs, the former foreign secretary remained the frontrunner after gaining 162 votes, while Hunt came second with 77 votes; UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove was eliminated from the race with just 75 votes.
The new head of the Conservative Party, who is due to be picked on 22 July, will have to lead the country during the Brexit process as the new 31 October deadline approaches.
London and Brussels failed to wrap up a Brexit deal after British MPs rejected all of May’s plans for the divorce with the EU, while at the same time rejecting a no deal Brexit.