Don’t lead us to disaster, moderate Tories warn frontrunner Boris Johnson

One Nation group of Conservatives try to stop lurch towards no-deal Brexit as ex-foreign secretary and Dominic Raab emerge as favourites among members

Conservative leadership contenders will shepherd the party to disaster if they adopt the “comfort blanket of populism” in response to Nigel Farage, scores of Tory MPs will warn this week.

Eight cabinet ministers are among a group of 60 modernising MPs who will call on contenders for the leadership to “reject narrow nationalism” in their quest to replace Theresa May. The warning comes with Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, who have both said they are willing to back a no-deal Brexit, emerging as the favourites among Tory members. Johnson is the frontrunner.

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