Michael Heseltine, the former Conservative Party Deputy Prime Minister, has issued a statement condemning the Government’s request to prorogue Parliament, which has been accepted by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
“On hearing the news whilst on holiday in Montenegro, I am appalled by the government’s announcement. The government’s decision is a constitutional outrage. A government which is frightened of parliament is frightened of democracy. I hope that every member of parliament, in feeling this humiliation, will use every legal and constitutional weapon to obstruct a government proposing to force on the British people a historic change for which they have long since lost any mandate.”
Michael Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, has been suspended from the Conservative Party following his comments that he intended to vote Liberal Democrat in this week’s European elections. A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said that the whip was being withdrawn because Heseltine was endorsing another political party.
Heseltine said in a statement to Sky News:
“They can take away the whip but they cannot take away my integrity, my convictions or my experience. I am a Conservative.”
Michael Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, has fiercely criticised Boris Johnson after he withdrew from the Conservative leadership contest.
Lord Heseltine said, whilst at an event in Manchester, of Johnson:
“I have never seen anything like it. He’s ripped the Tory party apart, he has created the greatest constitutional crisis in peacetime in my life. He’s knocked billions off his value of the savings of the British people. He’s like a general who marches his army to the sound of the guns and the moment he sees the battleground he abandons it. I have never seen anything like it and he must be answerable for the consequences. But the pain of it will be felt by all of us and, if it doesn’t get resolved shortly, by a generation yet to come”.
Michael Heseltine, the former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister from 1995 until 1997, has criticised some of the interventions made by Boris Johnson, the former London Mayor, into the EU referendum debate.
Heseltine, speaking to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said on Johnson’s Hitler comments:
“The idea that any serious British politician can in any way invoke that memory, I find – frankly, I had better contain my language”.
“He is behaving now irresponsibly, recklessly and I fear that his judgment is going”.
The former Deputy Prime Minister also questioned whether Johnson’s leadership ambitions may now be in jeopardy, saying:
“Every time he makes these extraordinary utterances I think people in the Conservative party will question whether he now has the judgment for that position”.
Michael Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister from 1995 until 1997, is to lead a panel of experts which will review how to best regenerate housing estates.
There will be 17 members on the panel which includes Brandon Lewis, the Housing Minister, and Michael Heseltine. Heseltine said in a statement:
“Estates regeneration is key to transforming the lives of people living on poorly designed housing projects. The panel will provide expert advice, support and explore innovative funding solutions to drive forward the regeneration of estates around the country.
However, I am clear that this has to be locally led and we must work with the residents of such estates. I now want to see local communities coming forward with innovative ideas to achieve desirable neighbourhoods that local people can be proud of”.
Brandon Lewis added:
“We know these estates offer huge potential to be revived so that they become thriving communities and places which people want to live and work in.
This panel provides a wealth of experience to kick-start work that will help transform the lives of thousands of people by delivering better homes in better estates”.
Michael Heseltine, the former Conservative Party Deputy Prime Minister, has warned of splits in the party over the upcoming referendum on UK membership of the European Union.
Talking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Heseltine argued that David Cameron, the Prime Minister, would be “a laughing stock” if he allowed a free vote for Cabinet members on the referendum.
“To have a civil war within the Conservative Party at that time, in the belief that the referendum having been determined, the participants in the civil war are going to sit around the table and happily smile together, is, I think, rather naive”.
The Bow Group is in turmoil after an interview with Andrew Neil discovered that the group’s chairman, Benjamin Harris-Quinney, wasn’t a member of the Conservative Party.
Harris-Quinney said during the questioning by Andrew Neil, which was broadcast on BBC’s Daily Politics, “why are you asking me about a branch of Conservatives Abroad?” before attempting to shout over the host. Conservatives Abroad said that Harris-Quinney was no longer a member although Harris-Quinney said that because he founded the branch of Conservatives Abroad in Madrid he was the President of it.
Michael Heseltine commented that:
“I think [Andrew Neil] destroyed him … and he is not a member of the party and is actively campaigning in a way which is incompatible with Conservative Party policy”.
Shortly afterwards Michael Heseltine, Norman Lamont, Geoffrey Howe and Nirj Deva issued a statement saying:
“As Patrons of the Bow Group we believe that this country’s best interests are served by voting Conservative in all situations. Ben Harris-Quinney does not speak for us or represent our views”.
Numerous other Bow Group members and Conservative MPs have distanced themselves from Harris-Quinney.