Ballot papers have started to arrive for party members, but Mr Hunt has pleaded for them to refrain from voting until after the two go head-to-head on TV on Tuesday.
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Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson (pictured), 55, is closing in on the keys to 10 Downing Street as he is backed by 74 per cent of the party, with rival Jeremy Hunt on just 26 per cent, according to a You Gov poll
Yet the new poll suggests Mr Hunt has a mammoth task if he is to take over as party leader – as most members do not trust him to follow through with a No Deal Brexit.
A resounding 90 per cent believe Mr Johnson, 55, would leave the EU without a deal, whereas 27 per cent think Mr Hunt, 52, would.
But Mr Johnson still faces some opposition to his Brexit plans.
Yet the new poll suggests Mr Hunt has a mammoth task if he is to take over as party leader – as most members do not trust him to follow through with a No Deal Brexit
Chancellor Philip Hammond claimed most MPs were against a No Deal departure, adding that it would be ‘shocking’ if parliament became ‘side-lined’.
Despite this, the poll revealed 67 per cent of Conservatives would back a move to suspend the chamber if it cleared the way for a No Deal Brexit.
It also emerged yesterday that Mr Johnson has not gained the backing of Sir John Major.
The former prime minister instead sided with Mr Hunt and claimed Mr Johnson had ‘mislead the country’ over the EU, adding that ‘character matters in politics’.
Fears have been raised over Mr Johnson’s personal life in recent weeks, after an explosive row with girlfriend Carrie Symonds hit the headlines last month.
But 77 per cent feel his personal life is irrelevant as to whether he is fit to run the country.
And Mr Johnson addressed this yesterday, making clear Ms Symonds, 31, would not play a role in his decisions as prime minister.
He said: ‘I will be deciding what we do. And I will be getting on with it.
Former prime minister Sir John Major (pictured) has sided with Mr Hunt and claimed Mr Johnson had ‘mislead the country’ over the EU, adding that ‘character matters in politics’
Mr Johnson has gone toe-to-toe with Mr Hunt in a spending race in recent weeks, and the pair have been backed by the party to borrow more money.
A narrow 52 per cent of members said more borrowing and more spending will be needed after the country leaves the EU.
Only 41 per cent argued against this.
The poll for the
He has vowed to change the law to ensure vicious thugs and sex offenders are locked up for longer.
The Tory leadership favourite said it is wrong the worst criminals are routinely freed halfway through their prison sentences.
Trying to restore the Tories’ battered reputation as the party of law and order, he also promised to boost police powers to stop and search knife crime suspects.
Boris says immigrants must speak English
Boris Johnson today said English was ‘too often’ not the first language of immigrants in some parts of the country.
He highlighted the way Bangladeshis and Jewish refugees had ‘adapted and they have made their lives and they have helped to make our national culture’.
‘That’s what I want for our country, I want everybody who comes here and makes their lives here to be and to feel British,’ he said.
‘That’s the most important thing. And to learn English.
‘Too often there are parts of our country and parts of London still and other cities as well where English is not spoken by some people as their first language, and that needs to be changed and people need to be allowed to take part in the economy and in society in the way that that shared experience would allow.’
He has already vowed to put an extra 20,000 officers on the streets.
In the interview, his most revealing and detailed of the leadership campaign, Mr Johnson said he is considering an ‘amnesty’ for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who have been in Britain for more than 15 years.
He claimed the radical plan would stop a repeat of the Windrush scandal where long-term residents were wrongly deported.
The former foreign secretary also poured cold water on the idea he could suspend or ‘prorogue’ Parliament to force a No Deal Brexit.
Under Mr Johnson’s sentencing plan, offenders who have been given 14 years or more in jail for violent or sexual offences will be expected to serve their whole term behind bars. Judges will be barred from reducing sentences to compensate.
But he has been hit with a blow as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed his campaign is being probed multiple alleged breaches of data legislation in the Back Boris campaign.
The office said: ‘We have received complaints in relation to the Back Boris campaign and are making inquiries.’
Its guidelines say: ‘If candidates in internal party elections wish to use member lists to send emails or texts, or make automated calls, the candidate must ensure that they have consent from the individuals to use such marketing channels.’
At a hustings in Darlington on Friday, Boris Johnson said quite often a ‘gaffe’ was actually a result of telling the ‘unvarnished’ truth about issues
Mr Hunt has said he had got emails from Mr Johnson, adding: ‘I would urge Boris and his campaign team to make sure that all their activities are within the law because it’s very important for the legitimacy of the election.’
Mr Hunt also said he had spoken to his rival about the unsolicited message, but Mr Johnson’s staff claimed it was ‘compliant with GDPR and the Data Protection Act.’
Despite this, Mr Hunt is also under fire over his team’s data use, with one member being unsure how they had been able to contact him.