Brexit latest: David Cameron said Priti Patel could have become a
David Cameron, former Tory prime minister, said Ms Patel’s attacks on her own Government’s immigration record “shocked me the most” but he would not fire her “because that would make her a Brexit martyr”. He said: “She used every announcement, interview and speech to hammer the Government on immigration, even though she was part of that Government.
“I was stuck, though: unable to fire her, because that would make her a Brexit martyr.”
But Ms Patel, now serving as Home Secretary under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, shrugged off his criticism saying it had been a “privilege” to serve in the Cameron Government and she had “enjoyed working with him”.
But she said there was “no point going over the past”, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “Obviously, you know, the referendum has happened. We’ve all moved on.
“And the fact of the matter is we’re now working to deliver that referendum mandate. That is so important.
Brexit latest: Priti Patel said there was no point going over the past
“There is no point going over the past.”
Mr Cameron’s comments come after he admitted that he failed in his bid to keep Britain in a reformed EU and is “truly sorry” for the uncertainty and division that followed the Brexit referendum.
The 52-year-old said he thinks about the consequences of the vote to leave the Brussels bloc “every single day” and worries “desperately” about what will happen next.
Mr Cameron also launched another stinging attack on Boris Johnson, claiming the Prime Minister “didn’t believe” in Brexit and only backed the Leave campaign to further his career.
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He said Mr Johnson privately claimed there could be a “fresh renegotiation, followed by a second referendum” – which he now says he opposes.
In extracts of his memoir serialised in the Sunday Times, Mr Cameron also labelled Brexiteer Michael Gove, who was once a close friend, a “foam-flecked Faragist”.
And he accused the leaders of the Leave campaign of declaring “open warfare” on him – and claimed they were guilty of “lying” to the public to win the 2016 referendum.
Brexit latest: David Cameron also launched a stinging attack on Boris Johnson
Brexit latest: David Cameron said he was ‘truly sorry’ for the uncertainty caused by Brexit
Mr Cameron wrote that the now-Prime Minister wanted to become the “darling of the party” and “didn’t want to risk allowing someone else with a high profile – Michael Gove in particular – to win that crown”.
“The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
On Mr Gove, the former prime minister said: “One quality shone through: disloyalty. Disloyalty to me and, later, disloyalty to Boris.”
And he said Mr Gove’s claim that the public were tired of experts made him “an ambassador for the truth-twisting age of populism”.
He said: “By the end, Boris and Michael seemed to me to be different people. Boris had backed something he didn’t believe in.
“Michael had backed something he did perhaps believe in, but in the process had broken with his friends while taking up positions that were completely against his political identity.
Brexit latest: David Cameron says he thinks about Brexit every single day
“Both then behaved appallingly, attacking their own government, turning a blind eye to their side’s unpleasant actions and becoming ambassadors for the expert-trashing, truth-twisting age of populism.”
He also said Brexit mastermind Dominic Cummings, who is now a special adviser to the government, was part of a “cauldron of toxicity” with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.