‘Don’t blame Boris – it’s YOUR fault,’ ex-UKIP MEP tells Philip Hammond


Mr Hammond, a vehement opponent of no deal, resigned from his job on July 23, the day Theresa May was replaced by Mr Johnson. Having previously insisted he would do “everything in his power” to prevent Britain leaving the bloc on October 31 without a withdrawal agreement in place, Mr Hammond was explicit in his criticism of Mr Johnson’s administration on Saturday in an opinion piece in the Times.

Patrick O'Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn branded Mr Hammond “conceited” (Image: GETTY)

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond has said no-deal would “betray” the referendum result (Image: GETTY)

However, Mr O’Flynn, who quit UKIP last year after leader Gerard Batten appointed Tommy Robinson as an adviser to the party, was unimpressed and made his feelings plain in an opinion piece in today’s Daily Telegraph in which branded Mr Hammond “limited in vision” and “conceited”.

Mr O’Flynn wrote: “After leading the EU to the confident conclusion that Britain would never leave without a deal while he was in office – thus removing any incentive it had to offer our country satisfactory departure terms – Mr Hammond is today seeking to repeat the same trick now he is out of office.

“Quite absurdly, he appears to regard himself as some kind of guru of Brexit, grandly declaring that to leave without a deal ‘would be a betrayal’ of the referendum result.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the bloc on October 31 “do or die” (Image: GETTY)

“In fact, like all his colleagues, he stood on a manifesto which said no deal was better than a bad deal and voted for an Article 50 process which was explicitly designed to conclude with a no deal departure in the absence of a deal satisfactory to MPs.

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“Worse still, he has obviously been plotting to subvert the efforts of the new Government to finally get Britain out of the EU even if no comprehensive withdrawal agreement with Brussels has been ratified, today declaring himself ‘confident’ that Parliament will find a way to stop that.”

In a brutal assessment, Mr O’Flynn added: “It is his failure to understand that he is just not all that good, that his natural place in the political ecosystem is to be one of those who doggedly implements ideas devised by more gifted colleagues.

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Nigel Farage Patrick O'Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn watches Nigel Farage speak at a UKIP event (Image: GETTY)

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond’s tweeted response to Steven Swinford (Image: Twitter)

Mr Hammond, who did not have the bottle to stand in the Tory leadership contest, is now cynically attempting to undermine the man who did and who won it by a landslide

Patrick O’Flynn

“Mr Hammond, who did not have the bottle to stand in the Tory leadership contest, is now cynically attempting to undermine the man who did and who won it by a landslide.

“If Boris Johnson wants to maintain his momentum, protect his political authority and send a clear signal that leave voters really can trust the Conservative Party to deliver Brexit then he will remove the whip from Mr Hammond and cut the ground from under his co-conspirators in the process.”

In his Times article, Mr Hammond said: “In 2016 the British people were invited to vote for Brexit with a deal, and by a small margin they did so.

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Brexit

The clock is ticking down to October 31 – the day by which Britain is due to leave the EU (Image: GETTY)

“They were told that a deal to protect Britain’s trade with the EU – our largest export market by far – would be ‘easy’ to do.

“To pretend now that 2016 Leave voters voted for a hard no deal Brexit is a total travesty of the truth.”

He later told Mr Hammond later told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “leaving the European Union without a deal would be just as much of a betrayal as not leaving at all”, stressing “a means will be delivered” allowing MPs to block the no-deal option.

He has since taken to Twitter to respond to criticism contained in a tweet by Times deputy political editor Steve Swinford, who quoted “a senior Number 10 source” as saying: “Hammond actively undermined the Govt’s negotiating position by frustrating and obstructing preparation to leave EU

General election timetable

A timetable outlining steps towards a general election (Image: Daily Express)

“Everyone knows the ex-chancellor’s real objective was to cancel the referendum result.”

In his first tweet since confirming his resignation as Chancellor on July 23, Mr Hammond said: “Wrong.

“I want to deliver Brexit – and voted to do so three times.

“But ‘no deal’ is a far cry from the highly optimistic vision presented by the Leave campaign – and there is no mandate for it.”



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