Sir John Major, the former Conservative Prime Minister from 1990 until 1997, has confirmed in an interview with Stephen Sackur on HARDTalk that he is backing Jeremy Hunt in the party’s current leadership contest.
Major said, when asked by Sackur who he was voting for:
“A ballot is private, but it’s fairly evident from my views that I cannot vote for someone who was part of the Brexit campaign which misled the country. So I shall offer my vote to Jeremy Hunt, and I don’t think anyone will be in any doubt about that.”
When asked about whether the majority of Tories want Brexit, Major said:
“I find it very difficult for any Prime Minister wishing to lead the whole of our country can entirely ignore the views of 48% of people who passionately do not want to see Brexit at all because they believe it is bad for their country. They cannot be ignored, it’s not only wrong constitutionally, I think politically it’s crazy. Those 48% of people are going to remember that they were completely ignored and they will remember that at the next election and for a very long time to come.”
When asked if MPs should back Brexit, Major added:
“Parliamentarians are in an extraordinarily difficult position that we have not seen before. I would guess that 70% to 80% of Parliament believe that Brexit is a disaster, that we should not be leaving Europe and that it’s damaging to our country and damaging to our future. But they feel hamstrung in carrying their conscience and their belief through to action because of the result of the referendum.”