UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson refuses to resign

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump meet for first time in public

Ms May on Tuesday dismissed suggestions of a cabinet split and expressed confidence that ministers would back her ahead of Friday's speech.

However, within minutes of the report's publication, Johnson was stopped by reporters in NY after returning from a jog and insisted he would not resign, describing the Cabinet as "a nest of singing birds".

Johnson has been accused of attempting to exploit Prime Minister Theresa May's current weak position, and has been told to end "irrelevant nuisance" campaigning and concentrate on his job.

Britain's pound see-sawed on Tuesday, rising on a report that the United Kingdom foreign minister Boris Johnson could resign before the weekend if his demands over Brexit were not met before easing back after Johnson denied he would quit.

"The cabinet is absolutely clear about the destination we are aiming for in relation to our European negotiations".

And asked directly if he would resign, he replied: "No".

Asked by reporters in NY, where is he attending the UN General Assembly, whether he would resign if Mrs May's speech did not endorse his approach, he replied: "No".

Asked if she would find time to meet Mr Johnson while they are both in NY this week, Mrs May said: "I will be seeing Boris at various stages during our time here, but of course we have got very busy programmes".

Boris Johnson's team has confirmed that he will travel to Italy on Friday to appear alongside the prime minister when she delivers her speech in Florence, in the first sign that he will not immediately resign from the cabinet.

Seen as an open challenge to Mrs May by some, the mop-headed politician called for Britain to spend up to £350m more on the NHS after we get the extra cash back when we leave the European Union in 2019.

That prompted a half-cent jump in the pound, to $1.3535 from around $1.3485 before the article was published.

It continued: "The Foreign Secretary's close friends believe he will have no option but to walk out of the Cabinet if the Prime Minister advocates permanently paying for access to the single market".

May and Johnson are both in NY for a meeting of the United Nations.

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