David Cameron suggests Michael Gove has 'lost it’ with latest Brexit barb

Written by David Singleton on 22 June 2016 in Diary

The justice secretary thought it was a good idea compare pro-EU experts to 1930s Nazi scientists.

An exasperated David Cameron has hit out at his one-time close ally Michael Gove for comparing anti-Brexit economists to Nazi propagandists.

In an astonishing outburst, the justice secretary said economic experts warning Britain’s finances would suffer post-Brexit were akin to “German scientists in the pay of the government” who rejected the findings of Albert Einstein.

The remark prompted the prime minister to suggest that Gove and his fellow Brexiteers might be going a bit crazy with just hours to go until the polls open.

“To hear the Leave campaign today sort of comparing independent experts and economists to Nazi sympathisers - I think they have rather lost it,” he told Sky News.

“These people are independent - economists who have won Nobel prizes, business leaders responsible for creating thousands of jobs, institutions that were set up after the war to try to provide independent advice. It is right to listen.”

Nick Clegg struck a similar note when he argued the Tory minister’s jibe was beneath himself and the debate.

“He’s always been a slightly wild-eyed character in my opinion,” the former deputy prime minister told LBC Radio.

“But on the eve of the referendum to say that responsible businesspeople... are somehow Nazi apologists, I just don’t think it’s worthy of him and it’s certainly not worthy of this debate.”

Cameron’s rhetoric was a step up from earlier in the morning when he called Gove’s latest intervention “the most extraordinary thing” and “a massive mistake”.

However, Cameron insisted working with Gove and other colleagues would be no problem after tomorrow's vote.

He told LBC Radio: “This is not about some sort of Tory psychodrama and who likes who and who and all the rest of it. This is about the future of our country.”

Gove, also speaking on LBC, had been arguing that voters should not listen to the hordes of economic experts who are painting a grim picture of Brexit.

I think the key thing here is to interrogate the assumptions that are made and to ask if these arguments are good,” Gove said on Wednesday. 

“We have to be careful about historical comparisons, but Albert Einstein during the 1930s was denounced by the German authorities for being wrong.

“His theories were denounced, and one of the reasons of course he was denounced, was because he was Jewish. 

“They got 100 German scientists in the pay of the government to say that he was wrong and Einstein said ‘Look, if I was wrong, one would have been enough.’”

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