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Revealed: secret Tory plan for members to crown Boris Johnson as new leader unopposed

Boris Johnson
Out in front: Boris Johnson has built a seemingly unassailable lead among MPs and grassroots Tories Credit: WILL OLIVER/EPA-EFE/REX

Boris Johnson's name could be the only one that goes forward to the party's membership in the Conservative leadership election under a secret plan to avoid four weeks of damaging Tory bloodletting.

Senior Cabinet ministers who are not linked to any of the six contenders in the campaign are examining whether Mr Johnson's name alone might forward to a "confirmatory" vote of the party's 160,000 members.

The plan was hatched in the whips office amid concerns from party grandees that weeks of "blue on blue" attacks during a prolonged hustings battle will leave the eventual winner weakened and provide ammunition for Jeremy Corbyn.

In the past week Mr Johnson has been accused by rival candidates of...

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