TORY grandee Lord Heseltine has weighed into the party’s leadership campaign with a damning indictment of former front-runner Boris Johnson, likening him to a general who abandons the battlefield at the first sound of fire.
Lord Heseltine, who served under Margaret Thatcher and was John Major’s deputy, told BBC Radio Five Live: “I have never seen anything like it. He’s ripped the Tory party apart, he has created the greatest constitutional crisis in peacetime in my life.
The 83-year-old peer added: “He’s knocked billions off his value of the savings of the British people. He’s like a general who marches his army to the sound of the guns and the moment he sees the battleground he abandons it.
“I have never seen anything like it and he must be answerable for the consequences. But the pain of it will be felt by all of us and, if it doesn’t get resolved shortly, by a generation yet to come.”
In a previous interview last night, Lord Heseltine, a firebrand famed for grabbing the ceremonial mace in the Commons and brandishing it at Labour left-wingers, said the British people had been misled by Brexit campaigners.
He told BBC Newsnight that Boris Johnson should be put in charge of negotiations with the EU because “he got us into this mess”, and argued there should either be either a second referendum or a general election to make sure the “will of the people” is met.