Liam Fox laments 'unacceptable' blue-on-blue attacks, as Nadine Dorries savages George Osborne again
A leading eurosceptic has hit out at “unacceptable” personal attacks between Conservative colleagues.
Liam Fox, the former defence secretary and senior figure in Vote Leave, said some of the ‘blue-on-blue’ conflict would leave wounds that would last “well beyond” next week’s referendum.
The bad blood between the two sides was brought to the surface again today when a Tory MP suggested George Osborne had offered a colleague a knighthood to come out for Remain.
His comments come days after Energy Secretary Amber Rudd used the first major televised debate of the campaign to launch a series of attacks on Boris Johnson’s motives for supporting Brexit.
Dr Fox told the Today programme: “It’s fair enough in the referendum that we probe one another’s views, we can say ‘you don’t understand the argument’, we can say ‘you’ve got your facts wrong’.
“What I think it unacceptable is for people to impugn the motives or the integrity or the honesty of their colleagues. I think that has happened and I think it’s very unfortunate, because these scars last well beyond the referendum date itself.”
Ms Rudd had said Mr Johnson had put his personal ambitions ahead of the national interest and added: “Boris, well, he’s the life and soul of the party but he’s not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening.”
Dr Fox warned that the intensity of the criticism would make it more difficult for the Conservatives to come back together after next Thursday’s result.
“How difficult or how easy the process will be after the referendum largely depends on how well we treat one another in the run-up to the referendum,” he said.
“And my advice to everybody is take a deep breath, stick to the issues, don’t make personal attacks.”
Meanwhile, Tory MP Nadine Dorries took to Twitter to once again savage George Osborne.
The Chancellor had sent a tweet welcoming the news that Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury Committee, had come out in favour of a Remain vote.
It led Ms Dorries, who supports Brexit, to deliver this excoriating riposte:
The Telegraph reports today that Conservative donor Edi Truell will not give more money to the party while David Cameron is Prime Minister as a result of the campaign.
The Brexit backer said the Conservative leader was guilty of “irresponsible” claims – and revealed that he may not renew his party membership.
Mr Truell said: "I think Boris, Michael Gove and team have done a sterling job, a brave job, and I would be only too pleased to support them and, in my view, the genuine Conservative party in the future.
"I'm not prepared to support the current regime given the way they have been going about things."