Bill Etheridge - Stay out of politics, Dave!

By Peter Madeley | Politics | Published:

A UKIP leadership contender has called on David Cameron to stay out of politics after the former Prime Minister said the Tories may have to pursue a 'softer Brexit'.

Bill Etheridge

Bill Etheridge said Mr Cameron had given up the right to tell the Conservatives what to do after he spearheaded the failed Remain campaign in the EU referendum.

It came after Mr Cameron urged Theresa May to change her approach to Brexit in light of the Conservatives' disappointing election result, saying there was likely to be pressure for a 'softer Brexit'.

West Midlands MEP Mr Etheridge, who is also a Dudley councillor, said: "Eighty-four percent of people voted for parties who backed not just a Norway-style arrangement but real Brexit, where we regain our independence.

"So, unless he is suggesting that the Tories listen to people like Nigel Farage, who was the only party leader in 2015 who was on the same side as the majority of the British public, he might want to enjoy a quiet, dignified retirement.

"He gave up his right to tell the Conservatives what to do when he threw his toys out of the pram last year after not getting his own way in the referendum he spent huge amounts of taxpayers' money trying to win."

Mr Cameron also suggested that the Scottish Tories, led by Ruth Davidson, could add to the pressure on Mrs May to change course.

"There's no doubt that there is a new player on the stage," Mr Cameron said.

"Scotland voted against Brexit. I think most of the Scottish Conservatives will want to see perhaps some changes with the policy going forward."


Meanwhile former Chancellor Ken Clarke said it was time for Mrs May to adopt a cross-party approach to Brexit.

He said that Labour and the Conservatives were 'hopelessly split' on the issue, adding that the public were 'very disillusioned with knockabout party politics after low-level debates in the referendum and the General Election'.

"I think we’d restore confidence in politics if we could show that this parliament can at least function in presenting a view in the national interest which could command the majority on a cross-party basis," he said.

"We’re in a new situation and the national interest calls for a cross-party approach."

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.


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