Senior minister blasts ‘swivel-eyed’ Brexiteers who accused MPs of ‘selling out’ on Brexit divorce bill
A senior minister reportedly branded Brexiteers who attacked the Government and MPs for "selling out" over the £39bn EU divorce bill "swivel-eyed".
Claire Perry said those behind the jibes were mostly “elderly retired men” without mortgages or young children, in a WhatsApp message seen by the Telegraph.
It comes after a row between some hard-Brexiteers and those who supported the figure offered by Mrs May to Brussels last month.
Ms Perry, who previously acted as an adviser to David Cameron, wrote that "the 'sell out traitor mob" should be ignored.
“Listening to them means wrecking the economy in the short term and via a Corbyn Government delivering a long steady slow decline for the country we love.
"And I would hypothesise that they are mostly elderly retired men who do not have mortgages, school-aged children or caring responsibilities so they represent the swivel-eyed few not the many we represent."
Ben Bradley, who was recently promoted to vice-chairman of the Tories, added that he is "getting some s*** from the usual suspects about sell-outs and traitors".
When asked about the messages by the paper, Ms Perry responded: "Passions were running high as we all worked to get the Brexit bill through and mine regrettably spilled over.
“No excuses but my comments were aimed squarely and exclusively at those calling my hard-working colleagues “traitors” - a shocking term to describe some of the best parliamentarians I know.
"Whether you voted Remain or Leave shouldn’t really matter now: there is now a unity of purpose in the country to support the smooth and orderly Brexit that our Prime Minister is working to deliver.
“We have Stage 1 agreed and are moving forward to remaining terms so let’s not get distracted."
The revelations come amid heightened tensions between high-profile Conservative figures, with Nadine Dorries yesterday calling on Philip Hammond to stand down as Chancellor.
“He needs to go. He needs to have the PM’s back and he doesn’t,” she told ITV's Peston on Sunday.
She added: “He's not being loyal to the Prime Minister."
Influential Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg also made clear his dissatisfaction with Mr Hammond’s stance, but stopped short of calling for his removal.
He told the same show: “This is a real trouble for the Government. The history of chancellors being in opposition to prime ministers is not a good one or an encouraging one.”
But he added: “I'm biting my tongue on the personality question.
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