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Boris triggers Tory civil war: 12 MPs vow to quit to stop him getting into Number 10 after his 'suicide vest' jibe following scandal over 'fling' with spin doctor - as he shows strain of wife branding him an 'adulterer' in divorce

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/09/2018 Jason Groves for the Daily Mail

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At least a dozen Tory MPs are ready to quit the party to stop Boris Johnson becoming leader.

They issued the warning after he sparked outrage by saying Theresa May’s Brexit strategy had put Britain in a suicide vest and handed the detonator to Brussels.

Mr Johnson’s critics accused him of using disgusting language to distract attention from his private life. He is being divorced by long-suffering wife Marina over claims of another affair.

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It was also revealed that Ms Wheeler could be serving divorce papers branding him an 'adulterer' as early as Monday.

A source told The Sun she is looking to move on quickly as she has 'had enough.'

They said: 'The papers are coming imminently. They were due within the next fortnight but Marina’s just had enough.'

It comes as Mr Johnson was pictured looking glum in the garden of his Oxfordshire home with his head in his hands as he sipped a cup of tea.

Boris Johnson (pictured in his Thame garden) last night sparked outrage by saying Theresa May’s Brexit strategy had put Britain in a suicide vest and given detonator to Brussels © Daily Mail Boris Johnson (pictured in his Thame garden) last night sparked outrage by saying Theresa May’s Brexit strategy had put Britain in a suicide vest and given detonator to Brussels

Yesterday the MP faced fresh revelations about his relationship with Carrie Symonds, who abruptly quit as Tory communications director last month.

Sources last night claimed the pair had been on a series of high-class dates in London - including at the discreet Rosewood Hotel in Holborn. 

With the Conservatives descending into open warfare, allies of Mr Johnson hit back, accusing No 10 of orchestrating a smear campaign with the leak of a ‘dirty dossier’ on his love life.

a woman smiling for the camera: Mr Johnson’s critics accused him of using disgusting language to distract attention from his private life (pictured, former Tory aide Carrie Symonds) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Johnson’s critics accused him of using disgusting language to distract attention from his private life (pictured, former Tory aide Carrie Symonds) But Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan, who served as Mr Johnson’s deputy, yesterday described him as an ‘irresponsible wrecker’ and vowed to stop him becoming party leader.

Sarah Wollaston, Tory chairman of the Commons health committee, yesterday became the fourth MP to warn publicly that she would resign from the party if Mr Johnson toppled Mrs May.

A senior Tory said 12 or more MPs would refuse to serve under the former foreign secretary – effectively depriving the Government of a majority.

a man and a woman standing in front of a building: Yesterday he faced fresh revelations about his relationship with Carrie Symonds (pictured), who abruptly quit as Tory Party communications director last month. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Yesterday he faced fresh revelations about his relationship with Carrie Symonds (pictured), who abruptly quit as Tory Party communications director last month. ‘Boris will never be prime minister – he would split the party,’ the MP said. ‘There are a large number of us determined to make sure he does not get onto the ballot paper whenever the leadership contest takes place.

‘If he did somehow manage to win then there are many of us – well into double figures – who would resign the party whip. He would lose the Government’s majority. He could not govern.’

The row came as:

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said Mrs May had allowed the Northern Ireland issue to become ‘grossly inflated’.

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie: It has now been suggested that Miss Symonds (pictured right with Michael Gove) may have lost her job for being too close to Johnson © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It has now been suggested that Miss Symonds (pictured right with Michael Gove) may have lost her job for being too close to Johnson He warned Brexit would fail unless she tore up the so-called ‘backstop’ agreed with the EU last December, which would keep Northern Ireland in the customs union. Mr Johnson described the Chequers plan, which would require Britain to follow a common rulebook with the EU, as a humiliation.

‘We look like a seven-stone weakling being comically bent out of shape by a 500lb gorilla,’ he said. ‘We have opened ourselves to perpetual political blackmail.

‘We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier.’ Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, savaged Mr Johnson’s intervention and told him to grow up.

‘A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand,’ said the former Army officer. ‘The carnage was disgusting, limbs and flesh hanging from trees and bushes.

a person taking a selfie: It comes after his wife Marina (pictured) began divorce proceedings when rumours of an affair surfaced © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It comes after his wife Marina (pictured) began divorce proceedings when rumours of an affair surfaced

‘Brave men who stopped him killing me and others died in horrific pain. Some need to grow up. Comparing the PM to that isn’t funny.’

Sir Alan said: ‘For Boris to say that the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much. This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics. I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later.’

Alistair Burt, who also served under Mr Johnson, said there was ‘no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy’.

Home Secretary Mr Javid urged Mr Johnson to use ‘measured language in future’, adding: ‘There are much better ways to articulate your differences.’

But allies of Mr Johnson rallied to his defence. MP Zac Goldsmith said there were ‘a number of possible motives’ for Sir Alan’s attack but ‘given its author, we can be certain principles aren’t one of them’.

Mrs Dorries said Mr Johnson faced vitriol because rivals were terrified of his popular appeal.

Ross Thomson, another Eurosceptic Tory, accused No 10 of trying to smear Mr Johnson, following the leak of a ‘black book’ on him.

Drawn up by a member of Mrs May’s team during the 2016 leadership election, the 4,000-word dossier details Mr Johnson’s affairs with journalists Petronella Wyatt and Anna Fazackerly and socialite Helen Macintyre, with whom he had a love child.

Gallery:  Boris Johnson's worst diplomatic gaffes (Deutsche Welle)

It also details his sacking by former Tory leader Michael Howard for lying, his admission that he tried cocaine at university and his controversial comments during years of column writing.

Mr Thomson said: ‘What on earth are No 10 playing at? We are all Conservatives. This is gutter politics that only serves to deliver the disaster of a Corbyn government.’

Downing Street sources angrily denied that they were involved in the leaking of the document to the media.

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