Michael Heseltine today warned Tory colleagues their victory in Copeland was a ‘fluke’, and tore strips of Boris Johnson for ‘waffling’.
The Tory Grandee dismissed the Foreign Secretary’s assurance that Britain would be “perfectly OK” leaving the EU without a deal, saying: “Well, it’s rubbish, isn’t it.”
Lord Heseltine told ITV’s Robert Peston that Johnson had “turned the art of political communication into a science in which waffle, charm, delay, anything to stop actually answering questions. He does it magnificently.”
His comments came after an evasive Mr Johnson told the same programme: “I don’t think that the consequences are by any means as apocalyptic as as some people like to protest.”
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Brexit Secretary David Davis appeared to confirm the Government was engaged in contingency planning for the possibility of Britain being unable to reach a deal with European counterparts over Brexit.
Lord Heseltine was unceremoniously sacked as a Government advisor this week, after joining a Lords’ rebellion on the Article 50 bill.
Peston asked him if he was “implacably opposed to almost everything the current Tory party is pushing through. Everything it stands for.”
But Lord Heseltine suggested there was a large chunk of the party’s membership who thought like he did.
He said: “You should see my postbag. My postbag is from that very, very large minority almost half who, many of whom are bitterly disappointed with the Tory party.
“You shouldn’t be talking about a flukey by-election on the nuclear industry in the north of England, we should be talking about Richmond.
“See what happened there where Europe was the central issue, and the fact of the matter is that a huge number of Conservatives are appalled, they feel they have been betrayed by what is going on now.
“You know, the truth of the matter is, those of us in politics, those who care, we’re not performing fleas where the ringmaster says jump and we all turn hands over ourselves. We’re not like that, we happen to believe for all sorts of powerful reasons that British self-interest was inextricably interwoven with those of our European allies.”