Top Theresa May ally: Only Boris Johnson can protect UK from SNP

One of Theresa May’s closest allies has said only Boris Johnson can deliver a Brexit deal and protect the UK from the “howling gale of nationalism and populism” of the Brexit Party and the SNP.

It comes after Mrs May warned it may be “too late” to save the Union, and on the day Tory leadership candidates face Scottish members.

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Only Boris can save the UK from a howling nationalist gale - Andrew Bowie MP

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Writing in the Scotsman, Andrew Bowie, Mrs May’s parliamentary private secretary, said these were “not normal times” and insisted Mr Johnson was “the only person who can deliver”.

Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson. Picture: PA Wire

In a surprise move, Mr Bowie endorsed the controversial frontrunner but has not offered the reasons for his decision, and has publicly criticised Brexiteers like Mr Johnson for claiming the UK could secure a transition out of the EU, even if there is no deal.

“We simply cannot allow ourselves to indulge in fantasies of ‘what might have been’, but instead must fight on what the facts are,” Mr Bowie says. He calls on liberal, “One Nation” Tories to unite to “hold [Mr Johnson] to his promises to govern as a consensual, modern conservative”.