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John Major’s bid to VETO Boris Johnson taking EU seat exposed

He said: “So everything I wrote from Brussels, I found was sort of chucking these rocks over the garden wall, and I listened to this amazing crash from the greenhouse next door over in England as everything I wrote from Brussels was having this amazing, explosive effect on the Tory party, and it really gave me this, I suppose, rather weird sense of power.”

Ms Purnell continued: “The MEPs […] continued their fight against Boris right up to the final decision-making stage, which was then presided over by the candidates’ advisory committee, chaired by Lord [Basil] Feldman.

“But Feldman backed Mitchell’s view and Boris finally officially joined the candidates’ list that summer.”

However, the Conservative Party continued to fight over such a candidate and rifts deepened. Mr Mitchell had to cave and asked Mr Johnson to step back from the limelight.

Ms Purnell said: “Mindful of the row, Mitchell – ever the government whip – had extracted a promise from Boris that he would not seek a safe seat in the forthcoming Euro-elections of 1994.

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