John Major branded ‘bitter’ and ‘vengeful’ as Tory infighting gets out of hand
Jacob Rees Mogg said he was now prepared to openly ‘sling the mud’ at the ex-Tory leader.
The war of words in the Conservative party has escalated even further with Jacob Rees Mogg launching an angry assault on John Major.
In the wake of explosive comments by the party grandee, the Tory backbencher dismissed “the bitter ramblings of a vengeful man”.
He also brazenly declared: "I’m going to sling the mud straight back at Sir John Major."
Rees Mogg was responding to comments made by the former prime minister on The Andrew Marr show. In a no-holds-barred interview, Sir John repeatedly attacked both the tactics and arguments used by Vote Leave.
He declared: “I am angry at the way the British people are being misled… If they are given honest, straightforward facts and they decide to leave, then that is the decision the British people take.
“But if they decide to leave on the basis of inaccurate information, inaccurate information known to be inaccurate, then I regard that as deceitful. Now, I maybe wrong, but that is how I see their campaign.”
The ex-Tory leader said the NHS would not be safe in the hands of Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith: "The NHS is about as safe with them as a pet hamster would be with a hungry python”.
He also described Johnson as “a very engaging and charming court jester” and warned: “If Boris has the laudable ambition to become Prime Minister, he will find if he achieves that he will not have the loyalty of the party he divided.”
Johnson yesterday took the high ground and called for an end to the “blue-on-blue” attacks. The Times also reports that the former mayor confronted Sir John in his dressing room minutes before he was due to go on air - and wished him well.
Vote Leave sources have tried to dismiss the outbursts as a "desperate" intervention that was co-ordinated by Number 10.
But Rees-Mogg, a fierce supporter the Leave campaign, went further as he appeared on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Sunday evening.
He said: “What we’ve had today are the bitter ramblings of a vengeful man. He is the man who took us into the Exchange Rate Mechanism, destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs, had people evicted from their homes and led to the destruction of businesses for the sake of his failed European policy.
“And now he says things that are both hypocritical and untrue in his attack on Boris. And how magnanimous Boris was in saying we should rise above it; well, I’m going to sling the mud straight back at Sir John Major, a knight of the garter who ought to know how to behave better, who has said things about our campaign and then responds by using the most dishonest figure from their campaign about three million jobs...
“We have an extraordinary attack, a hypocritical attack using dodgy figures of his own and it’s all to do with his bitterness over his failings that came from the Exchange Rate Mechanism that tarnished his whole prime ministership.”