LONDON — UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted he was behind ‘‘every syllable’’ of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan, falling into line after a succession of challenges to her authority.
After an onslaught of criticism from Conservatives at the party’s annual conference, the perennial leadership contender said he fully supported the contents of May’s Brexit speech in Florence. Days before, he had set out his own ‘‘red lines,’’ prompting questions of whether May should fire him.
‘‘Contrary to some of the stuff that I notice has been knocking around in the media, you have a Cabinet that is totally united behind every comma, every full stop, every syllable of the prime minister’s excellent Florence speech,’’ Johnson told BBC Newsnight on Monday.
His insubordination in recent weeks had thrown into question May’s ability to unite her party behind a common Brexit stance. Her position was made more precarious after she made some key concessions to the European Union last month in an effort to move Brexit talks along.
‘‘The mood here very much has been amongst MPs and party members that they’re pretty unimpressed with those ministers who want to set down their own red lines on Brexit,’’ House of Commons Treasury Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan said Tuesday.
Ministers had called on May to fire Johnson for his rebellion, The Times of London reported, after May laughed off a question on Sunday about whether her foreign minister was ‘‘unsackable.’’