October 2, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 8 months ago

Johnson bids to shore up Conservative resolve in dig at May

Boris Johnson speaks at the Conservative Home fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s most prominent Brexit campaigners, said Prime Minister Theresa May’s party had lost its confidence and called on Conservatives to champion the free market to keep the opposition Labour Party out of power.

“My friends, the one thing I really worry about in this critical Autumn of 2018 is that after 200 years, this oldest and most successful of all political parties should somehow lose confidence in its basic belief in freedom,” Johnson said.

He said he was worried the United Kingdom was “so demoralised and so exhausted” that it might submit to foreign rule, a clear attack on May’s Brexit plans.

“If I have a function here today, it is to try with all humility, to put some lead into the collective pencil,” Johnson said.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper, editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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