Ken Clarke: ‘The Prime Minister wouldn’t last 30 seconds if he lost the referendum’

Posted On: 
16th April 2016

Former Chancellor Ken Clarke has increased the pressure on David Cameron ahead of the EU referendum.

Former Chancellor Ken Clarke is backing the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU.
Paul Heartfield

Mr. Clarke said the idea that Mr. Cameron could remain in place to lead renegotiations with the EU after a vote for Brexit is “farcical”.

“The Prime Minister wouldn’t last 30 seconds if he lost the referendum and we’d be plunged into a Conservative leadership crisis, which is never a very edifying sight,” the veteran Tory told BBC Radio 4’s the Week in Westminster.

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Mr Clarke — who, like Mr Cameron, wants Britain to remain part of the EU — directly contradicted the Prime Minister. Mr Cameron previously insisted that he would remain in office, even if Britain votes to leave the EU at the referendum on the 23 June.

The Rushcliffe MP added: “The idea that David carries on saying: ‘Well despite what I’ve been saying in the last few weeks, I’m now going to lead a government which is going to leave the European Union…’ I mean it’s just farcical.”

Mr Clarke likened the current atmosphere among Conservative MPs to the mood during arguments over the Maastricht Treaty in the 1990s.

PoliticsHome reported at the end of March that nearly half of the public thinks Mr Cameron should resign if the UK votes for Brexit — according to data from Ipsos MORI.