‘Carry on coronavirus’: shine has come off Johnson as Tory conference begins

Knives are not yet out, but former pinup faces party in turmoil over leadership and loss of popularity

When Boris Johnson barrelled into the scrum of Conservative party conference in Birmingham two years ago, he received a welcome more suited to a rockstar than a backbencher.

Some breathless delegates had waited four hours to be part of the 1,500-strong audience for his speech at a fringe event. They cheered their hero uproariously, as he condemned Theresa May’s Brexit deal as an “outrage” that would trap the UK “in the tractor beam of Brussels”.

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