Lord Heseltine claims a 'huge number' of Tories feel 'betrayed' by Theresa May's government over Brexit

Posted On: 
12th March 2017

Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has hit out at Theresa May following his sacking as a government adviser, saying many Tories feel "betrayed" by the Government's approach to Brexit. 

Lord Heseltine speaking during the Brexit bill debate

The Conservative grandee was removed from several advisory roles after he defied his party whips and backed a Lords amendment to give Parliament a 'meaningful vote' on the Brexit deal. 

He said he was "very sad" to lose his positions, but that the Prime Minister was entitled to act as she saw fit.

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Although the Conservatives are currently enjoying a huge poll lead over Labour, Lord Heseltine warned Mrs May not to read too much into the party's "flukey" by-election victory in Copeland.

He argued that the defeat to the Liberal Democrats in Richmond Park showed the depth of Tory anger at the way Mrs May is handling Brexit.

"You should see my postbag, my postbag is from that very, very large minority, almost half, many of whom are bitterly disappointed with the Tory party," Lord Heseltine told ITV's Peston on Sunday.

"We shouldn't be talking about the flukey by-election on the nuclear industry in the north of England, we should be talking about Richmond, see what happened there, where Europe was the central issue. The fact of the matter is a huge number of Conservatives are appalled, they feel they've been betrayed by what is going on now. 

"The truth of matter is, those of us in politics those who care, we're not performing fleas where the ringmaster says 'jump' and we all turn hands over ourselves, we're not like that, we happen to believe, for all sorts of very powerful reasons, that British self-interest was inextricably interwoven with those of our European allies." 


The former Cabinet minister launched into Boris Johnson over his claims that Britain would be "perfectly OK" even without securing a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. 

"Well, it's rubbish, isn't it?" the peer said.

And he savaged the Foreign Secretary's interview style, saying he had become an expert in not answering questions. 

"When I listen to Boris, who I like actually, he has turned the art of political communication into a science in which waffle, charm, delay, anything to stop answering questions, he does it magnificently."