The former Remain campaigner said his “views had changed” since getting his new Cabinet post and Brexit was “vital”.
And he said ending Britain’s EU membership was the only way of restoring sovereignty and ensures decisions “are taken closer to the people they affect”.
The comments in a Sunday newspaper column were immediately latched on by Eurosceptics. One said: “Forget Boris, Jeremy’s the one making a bid now.”
It came as Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the rival Brexit plan pushed by arch Eurosceptics – a Canada style free trade deal – had a lot “to commend it”.
Sources claimed former Chancellor George Osborne is advising the Tory rising star on a potential challenge.
And yet another leadership contender, International Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt staked her own claim by slamming the political elite.
In a speech she said leaders had to inspire “participation and courage”.
The blasts came ahead of yet another critical week for Brexit with Eurosceptics poised to finally launch their plans to destroy Theresa May’s soft Chequers compromise.
The Eurosceptics led by Tory MPs Steve Baker and Jacob Rees Mogg will publish a blueprint for their way to solve the Northern Ireland-Irish border logjam on Wednesday.
Arch Brexiteer sources yesterday angrily dismissed claims their other blueprints will contain calls for Brexit Britain to have its own ‘Stars Wars’ missile defence system and an expeditionary force for the Falklands.
One senior Eurosceptic said: “This is Downing Street stirring it up. It’s rubbish.”
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