The Tory front runner said leaving the EU had been treated like a ‘plague of boils’ rather than an attempt to ‘turbo-charge’ the economy.
Mr Johnson also laid down the law to ministers that he will not tolerate the wave of briefings and leaks that blighted
The bullish stance came as Mr Johnson took part in the latest round of hustings in Nottingham – with just over a fortnight left until the new PM is chosen.
The bullish stance came as Mr Johnson took part in the latest round of Tory hustings in Nottingham today (pictured)
Mr Johnson (pictured arriving at the venue today) laid down the law to ministers that he will not tolerate the wave of briefings and leaks that blighted Theresa may ‘s premiership
Mr Johnson said it was the job of the Government to ‘set the tone and direction of the country’.
He said: ‘In the last few years we have radiated an air of slight self-doubt, pessimism and defeatism.’
Mr Johnson said Cabinet had become ‘ridiculous’ because of the amount of leaking from around the Government’s top table.
In a stark message to ministers if he wins, Mr Johnson added: ‘Let us speak our minds and then don’t leak it. Cabinet was entirely ridiculous.’
Attempting to burnish his One Nation Tory credentials, Mr Johnson told activists they ‘should be presenting ourselves as a party that’s committed to social justice’.
That would also mean ‘championing the environment’, with measures to promote cleaner air, protect wildlife and reduce the amount of plastic being used.
‘Our modern Conservative agenda is not only right for the economy, it’s deeply progressive,’ he said.
But he dodged around desperately when asked about the costs of his pledges during the leadership campaign, including tax cuts for higher earners, high-speed broadband, and more police on the streets.
Mr Johnson said Cabinet under Theresa May had become ‘ridiculous’ because of the amount of leaking from around the Government’s top table
Questions were raised about the integrity of the election process today, amid claims a number of Conservative members have been sent more than one ballot paper
He also refused to say whether he personally supports fox hunting.
After Mr Hunt suffered a backlash for suggesting he would push a vote on repealing the ban, Mr Johnson said he was ‘doubtful’ about the need to revisit the issue.
‘I’m doubtful about the wisdom of escalating this particular issue at this particular juncture,’ he said.
Questions were raised about the integrity of the election process today, amid claims a number of Conservative members have been sent more than one ballot paper.
Party sources told the BBC more than 1,000 people could have multiple forms in the contest between Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt.
Those affected could include people who joined their local Conservative party at their home and work address or others who have changed their name.
The party said it was clear to members that anyone voting twice would be expelled.