Iain Duncan Smith says fighting Euro elections would be a 'political disaster'

PUBLISHED: 12:03 14 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:03 14 April 2019

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday (Pic: Sky News)

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday (Pic: Sky News)


Iain Duncan Smith has said delaying Brexit would be a "political death" for the Tories as polls show the Conservatives could lose 60 seats at the next election.

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Duncan Smith said: “It was on the 29th when we didn’t leave, that’s when this all went wrong.

“Up until then people were prepared to give Theresa May the benefit of the doubt.

“The big problem was as soon as we didn’t leave you can see all of the poll ratings start to crash and it’s only linked to the fact that leave or remain, people were expecting us to go and when we didn’t go we breached with the pledge that we had made and that’s a disaster for a political party.”

The hardline Brexiteer and former Tory leader added that a grassroots revolution had begun with many MPs unwilling to fight in the European elections.

“It would be an utter disaster for us and a disaster for the country,” said Duncan Smith.

“What are you going to say on the doorstep – ‘vote for me and I’ll be gone in three months?’

“I absolutely do not want to campaign on the European election ticket.

“I think the date isn’t October. The key moment is May 6 when we have to put up election offices if we don’t put them up then we’re leaving before the end of June.

“The prime minister has already said she would go. I think those dates still stand.”

Despite a Sunday Telegraph poll suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn is bound for number 10 with the Tories set to lose 60 seats in the event of a general election, Duncan Smith said that he could not “conceive the British Public with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister”.

The Chingford and Woodford Green MP recently met with Michel Barnier and said that he still believes there was a possibility of negotiating alternatives to May’s withdrawal agreement.

He said: “I think there is some scope for alternative results because the EU has said no matter what there is not going to be a hard border with Northern Ireland.”

Duncan Smith told Ridge: “I believe we have to leave. I believe we will leave.

“The problem is that Parliament is full of people who have never accepted the vote. It’s become about those who are doing those level best to stop Brexit.”

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