Boris Johnson will not campaign for the Conservatives in upcoming elections to the European Parliament, it has been reported.
Britain is now on course to take part in the elections after European leaders handed Theresa May a Brexit delay of up to six months.
The Prime Minister has said she will continue to try and get a deal through the British parliament by 22 May in order to avoid the country having to take part in the EU vote slated for the following day.
But a source close to Mr Johnson told The Times: “Boris won’t campaign in European elections.
“He believes the prospect of the UK fielding candidates is utterly preposterous.”
The intervention comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond Hammond admitted that taking part in the fresh elections to the European Parliament, where Britain holds 73 of 751 seats, would be “pointless”.
“Clearly nobody wants to fight the European elections,” he told the BBC.
The frontbencher added: “It feels like a pointless exercise and the only way we can avoid that is by getting a deal agreed and done quickly, and if we can do that by 22 May, we can avoid fighting the European parliamentary elections.”
On Friday former Ukip leader Nigel Farage formally launched his new Brexit Party with a vow to “put the fear of God” into MPs by topping next month’s poll.
A poll published this week by the Open Europe think tank found that fewer than one in four (23% of) voters plan to back the Tories if the elections take place, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party would rake in 38% of the vote.Protesters keep up pressure on Sudan’s military for civilian rule