Johnson, Hunt cross swords over Brexit in testy debate

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The former prime minister says it would be

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption The former prime minister says it would be"unacceptable to force through a-no deal

The polemical candidate is now trying to shut down the parliament, though some have warned him that such a move, which would force a no-deal Brexit, would tear down the government and even some may take legal actions against him.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said holding on to the option of leaving the European Union without a deal was necessary for future negotiations, even though she had tried to force Theresa May to rule out no deal ahead of the original March 29 Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson, the leading contender to be Britain's next prime minister, said on Wednesday it would be "very odd" to give the judiciary a say over Brexit, responding to the threat of a legal challenge by former prime minister John Major.

They face a battle to force through their commitments, however, as MPs and peers launch tactical bids to block any attempt to prorogue parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.

John Major warned aspirant successors of Theresa May that forcing a "no-deal" Brexit by suspending parliament would drag Queen Elizabeth II into a "constitutional controversy", as she would be advised by the prime minister to call for elections, a request that she has no constitutional mandate to reject.

Asked by Sky News how many jobs would be lost in no-deal scenario, Clark said: "It's many thousands of jobs". "It's evident that if you have the disruption that comes from a no-deal Brexit there will be people that will lose their jobs".

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"It's many thousands of jobs".

A spokeswoman for Mrs May told a Westminster briefing: "The Prime Minister has always been clear that leaving without a deal would be disruptive".

Mr Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out suspending Parliament if he becomes Prime Minister, arguing it would weaken the UK's negotiating position to take any option off the table.

AQuestion Time special with the two Conservative leadership candidates "now looks unlikely to go ahead".

Amber Rudd said she has "accepted" the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, despite having previously fiercely opposed it.

The runoff vote will be announced July 23.

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