Soldier-turned-Tory MP Johnny Mercer goes to war with the Telegraph
The Plymouth Moor View MP said he had given his 'last interview' to the paper.
“It smells of decline, and the people won’t have it," says Conservative MP Johnny Mercer about the state of his party in a blistering interview with the Telegraph.
The highly-rated Plymouth Moor View MP and former Army captain adds: "We are in critical times. Brexit is a huge challenge, but can be a great success if we get it right. But the Conservative Party still seems punch-drunk after the election, bemused by ongoing sagas in the Cabinet."
The former solder also makes a very thinly veiled swipe at the appointment of Gavin Williamson as defence secretary, saying that the appointment "seems to have sent a message to the military community... that I'm not 100% comfortable with".
And he wades into the Pestminster scandal with dig at colleagues who have tried to defend "frankly weird and creepy behaviour".
So far, so good for Telegraph hacks looking for a strong headline. But the MP was somewhat frustrated with what then went out on social media.
After the paper tweeted out the article, the MP responded: "I don’t understand why you would do this. At no stage have I said what is in this headline. My last interview with @Telegraph."
He also thanked a user on Twitter for "for reading the piece, not the headline".
And finally he ventured: "This seems to have caused a fuss. I’m not a rising star, or remotely senior, but make no apologies for sayings a team we must always retain our credibility, integrity and vision. It’s what people expect, and I’m afraid in this game, they remain the real boss."
Picture by: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images