Dominic Grieve has branded Boris Johnson a ‘pathological liar’ as the Tory rebel doubled down on his criticisms of the prime minister.
Appearing on ITV’s Peston programme alongside Labour MP Jess Phillips the former attorney general said he found Boris Johnson’s comments about murdered MP Jo Cox “terrifying”.
“I find it terrifying. This is somebody who is a pathological liar. You can watch him do it in the House of Commons.
“I agree with Jess [Phillips] he has no moral compass of any kind at all and it was quite deliberate what he was saying was, ‘you do what I say and you won’t be subject to death threats’.
“That was the impact of that comment.
“It’s total populism, and amazingly my colleagues or many of them (there are some exceptions) that are absolutely horrified… absolutely appalled.”
But Grieve added that Johnson was now echoing Trump’s way of politics in the United States – and Tory MPs were going along with it.
“For a lot of them they are just carried along with this because for what ever reason, just like Trump in the United States, they think this is the man who is going to deliver for them in terms of their career prospects, in terms of their approach to their own associations that are sharing their views and seeking to promote them.
“We really are at a real crisis in our politics, and in many ways he is a monstrous product of it, and the worst fears I have about him before he became prime minister and leader of the party have been fulfilled in a matter of weeks.”
Tory chairman James Cleverly defended the prime minister and said the “deeply uncomfortable” atmosphere in politics was unlikely to be resolved until Brexit was delivered.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that opposition parties preferred to “continue the circular argument around Brexit” rather than put it to bed.
“It is creating a highly-charged and uncomfortable atmosphere.
“The Conservative government and the prime minister, Boris Johnson, are trying to resolve this but the opposition parties are refusing to do so.
“This can be de-escalated, the tempers can be taken out of this. But in order for that to happen, there needs to be a balance on both sides.
“At the moment, I don’t feel that opposition parties are genuine about trying to resolve this issue. It seems they would much prefer to continue the circular argument around Brexit rather than work together for a resolution and get it off the agenda.”