WATCH: John Major backs Jeremy Hunt and accuses Boris Johnson of 'misleading the country'

Posted On: 
5th July 2019

Sir John Major has backed Jeremy Hunt to be the next Tory leader.

Sir John Major is backing Jeremy Hunt to be the next Tory leader.
PA Images

In a swipe at Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister said he "cannot vote for someone that was part of the Brexit campaign that misled the country".

His intervention in the Conservative leadership race comes as ballot papers begin arriving at the homes of the party's 160,000 members.

William Hague backs Jeremy Hunt as Tory leader with blast at Boris Johnson

John Major: Brexit plan to shut down Parliament is 'gold-plated hypocrisy'

John Major accuses Tories of 'sheer folly' after Lord Heseltine suspended for backing Lib Dems

It follows Sir John's successor as Tory leader, William Hague, is also backing Mr Hunt.

Speaking to the BBC's HARDtalk programme, Sir John - who led the Conservatives from 1990 until 1997 and campaigned for Remain in the referendum - said: "I think it's fairly evident from my views that I cannot vote for someone that was part of the Brexit campaign that misled the country. So I shall offer my vote to Jeremy Hunt."

He added: "We need a serious leader for serious times.

"I do find that many of the things that have been said by Boris Johnson and by many others to be in conflict with reality as I understand it."



In response, Jeremy Hunt tweeted: "Honoured to have the support of Sir John Major."

Announcing his endorsement for Mr Hunt, Lord Hague also questioned Boris Johnson's suitability for the job of Prime Minister.

He said: "Boris has demonstrated his strong convictions by saying “do or die” and refusing to rule out the proroguing of Parliament.

"But in doing so, however much I wish him well if he is elected, he has lost my vote, because “do and then die” could very easily be the outcome."

The Tory grandee added: "Whoever wins will benefit from much improved national finances, although I would advise more caution over raiding them in the campaign.

"Both men have great merits. But asked to weigh who might make the better prime minister, and have the best chance of avoiding calamity over Brexit, I come to a clear conclusion. I will mark my ballot for Jeremy Hunt."