Tuesday 1 October 2019 2:36 pm

Kwasi Kwarteng: Boris Johnson's 'clarity of message' on Brexit behind Tory poll bounce

Boris Johnson’s “clarity of message” has helped buoy the Tories in polls, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng has said, as he hit out at plans from opposition MPs to form an alternative government.

Kwarteng, who served as under secretary of state for the Department for Exiting the EU under Theresa May, told a fringe event at the Conservative party conference that the Prime Minister’s approach had “definitely helped” the Tories.

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“Today I look at polls and we are on 32 or 33 per cent,” he said. “If you’ve broadly doubled your vote share in three months, that’s seems to be a good place to be.”

Kwarteng said he believed there would be “some sort of deal” with the EU.

“Whether the House of Commons votes for it I don’t know,” he added. “I’ve been up this hill many times. I think we will deliver Brexit on 31 October deal or no deal.”

The government minister also dismissed the likelihood of opposition MPs banding together to form a government of national unity to replace Johnson’s premiership.

He joked that controversial Commons speaker John Bercow had been floated as a potential leader, adding: “It’s not as barmy as it sounds, because they clearly haven’t got a consensus.

“I think there are completely at sixes and sevens.”

Under the May government, getting a Brexit deal was seen as a “bureaucratic exercise,” Kwarteng said.

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“I think we did have a communication problem in the last government.

“Clearly we fell short of politically selling the deal.”