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Johnson to use conference speech to show his PM credentials

By Jon Craig, chief political correspondent, in Birmingham
Boris Johnson will storm into the Tory conference to a rapturous welcome from activists and launch a blistering attack on Theresa May and her policy on Brexit.
He will spend just a few hours in Birmingham, but will deliver a barnstorming speech his supporters hope will pave the way for a Tory leadership bid within weeks.
The former foreign secretary will call on the prime minister and the Cabinet to "chuck Chequers", after controversially describing the plan as "deranged" at the weekend.And in his lunchtime speech at a ConservativeHome fringe event, he will say the Tories need to "believe in Conservative values" if they are to beat Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.Setting himself directly at odds with the prime minister and Chancellor Philip Hammond, Mr Johnson will put tax cuts at the top of his personal policy agenda.

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Mr Johnson will receive a rock star welcome from adoring pro-Brexit Tory activists, in a provocative stunt that will dismay and incense the PM's supporters.On the opening day of the conference, the former trade minister Digby Jones denounced Mr Johnson as "irrelevant and offensive" for attacking business.But Mr Johnson will reinforce the view of many Tory MPs that he is poised to strike against Mrs May by using his speech to spell out his leadership credentials as well as attacking the Chequers plan.
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Mr Johnson waves at photographers as he runs near his Oxfordshire home on Monday. Pic: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP
He will urge the Conservative Party not to "ape Corbyn", but instead take "basic Conservative ideas and fit them to the problems of today".Attacking Mr Corbyn's Labour conference speech, Mr Johnson will say: "It was astonishing that he had absolutely nothing to say about the wealth-creating sector of the economy.
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