Jacob Rees Mogg leads the Brexiteer backlash against John Major
'This isn’t a statesmanlike speech, this is one of somebody grubbing around in the weeds for weak arguments'.
John Major’s intervention on Brexit has been branded "a seismic speech which no voter should ignore and every member of parliament should heed" by Lord Mandelson.
But it's fair to say that Jacob Rees Mogg has taken a rather different view to the New Labour architect.
The Tory backbencher was first out of the traps to criticise the speech on behalf of Tory Brexiteers - and Rees Mogg did not mince his words.
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."
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" for having whipped his own MPs to vote for the Maastricht Treaty when he was prime minister and concluded:
"I think he should go back, do his homework and give a statesmanlike speech rather than one riddled with errors and humbugs."