Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses John Major of ‘propaganda, errors and hypocrisy’ after key Brexit speech
Top Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Sir John Major of “propaganda” and “hypocrisy” after the former Prime Minister's key Brexit speech earlier today.
The arch-Brexiteer said Sir John was attempting to “overturn” the result of the EU referendum in an address “riddled with errors and humbugs”.
Speaking in central London earlier the former Prime Minister called for voters to be given the chance to either accept or reject the final Brexit deal in a fresh referendum.
He also said MPs should be given a free vote on the agreement Theresa May reaches with Brussels when it is considered by the Commons in the autumn.
But Mr Rees-Mogg suggested that the former Prime Minister was attempting to undermine the Brexit process.
He told the BBC: “We had a democratic vote and the decision has been taken. And what he is trying to do is overturn that.
“That’s the whole point of what he is saying and his speech is riddled with errors. It says things that are tendentious, bordering on the not factually accurate.
“So, I think we need to look at what he is saying and what his motivation is.”
He added: “You would expect John Major – a former Prime Minister – to make a statesmanlike speech free of propaganda and cheap comments but in fact it’s all cheap comments and propaganda.
"This isn’t a statesmanlike speech, this is one of somebody grubbing around in the weeds for weak arguments and it’s a very poor speech in that regard.”
The Tory backbencher also accused Sir John of “hypocrisy” over whipping his own MPs to vote for the Maastricht Treaty when he was Prime Minister.
“He whipped that through in the most aggressive whipping of modern history,” he said.
“For that PM to then say “oh it should be a free vote’ is either forgetting how he behaved himself, ignoring how he behaved himself, or just straight forward hypocrisy.”
In a final rebuke, Mr Rees-Mogg concluded: “I think he should go back, do his homework and give a statesmanlike speech rather than one riddled with errors and humbugs.”
A Downing Street spokesman played down Sir John's call, telling reporters this afternoon:
"The Prime Minister is confident of getting the right Brexit deal and anticipates MPs from across the House will support it."
Senior Tory sources also rejected Sir John's calls for a free vote on the final deal, insisting the party's MPs would be whipped to support the Government