Brexit ‘colossal foreign policy blunder’ says Bercow
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The furious attack against the former outspoken House of Commons Speaker is revealed in Sir Alan’s new memoirs, In The Thick Of It, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail. Sir Alan was Foreign Office minister from July 2016-2019 and served under then-Prime Minister Theresa May, but resigned citing Boris Johnson’s election to the Conservative Party leadership and subsequently the UK’s premiership. Mr Bercow was involved in several furious exchanges with leading Tories in the Commons, and in October 2019, confirmed the suspicions of many Brexiteers in parliament by admitting he was firmly against Brexit.
In an extraordinary interview, the former Commons Speaker described Brexit as the “biggest mistake of this country after the war”.
He also warned the UK leaving the European Union “doesn’t help us” and the UK is better off within the “power bloc”.
But now the tensions between the Government and Mr Bercow at the time of intense Brexit negotiations with the bloc have been laid bare in Sir Alan’s memoirs.
In an entry for Tuesday, October 16, 2018, he wrote: “Speaker Bercow is an uppity little man.
“He is supposed to be impartial and should only hold a view which is set by the Commons.
“All these historic assumptions have been obliterated by Labour’s capture of the Speaker in the name of progressive causes . . . diversity, equality, women and so on.
“The fundamental rules of the place now count for nothing.”
Mr Bercow had spent ten years in the Commons hot seat but was heavily criticised by eurosceptic MPs over a series of controversial rulings which were seen to favour the pro-Remain side in the Brexit debate.
At the time, he also played an instrumental role in Britain’s failure to exit the EU on October 31, 2019, after allowing MPs to put forward a motion preventing the UK from leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
During an interview just weeks later – his first about Brexit since leaving his role as Commons Speaker – he said: “I don’t think it helps the UK.
“Brexit is the biggest mistake of this country after the war.
“I respect Prime Minister Johnson but Brexit doesn’t help us.
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“It’s better to be part of the [EU] power bloc.”
But in his memoirs, Sir Alan also savaged Mr Johnson and several other leading Tories, describing the current Prime Minister as an “embarrassing buffoon”.
Theresa May is called “a frightened rabbit, a cardboard cut-out”, while Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is described as a “whacky weirdo”.
Sir Alan claims Jeremy Hunt, who was Foreign Secretary from 2018-2019, “doesn’t exude enough purpose or authority. Lots of rational thinking, but not enough grit”.
The former minister also lashed out at Mr Hunt for ignoring his etiquette tips on a trip to Oman.
He wrote: “Pictures emerge of him crossing his legs which I specifically briefed him not to do, as it is very bad manners. It is like picking your nose.”
Sir Alan also savages Jacob Rees-Mogg, describing him as “ridiculous and pompous”, writing: ‘He thinks he’s clever: he is not.
“He is a cheap nationalist with faux manners and an ego the size of a planet.”
The diaries also claim a furious David Cameron accused Mr Johnson of “ruining my bloody career”.
The entry on May 1, 2019, came just three weeks before Mrs May announced her resignation and two months before Mr Johnson subsequently replaced her as Prime Minister.
The diary entry reads: “Breakfast with David Cameron.
“He is so glad not to be in the middle of everything that is going on at the moment.
“He has a very straightforward opinion about Boris – ‘He ruined my bloody career’.”
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