Johnson and Cummings are 'ripping the heart out of democracy', says Heseltine

PUBLISHED: 10:54 11 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 11 August 2019

Lord Heseltine on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

Lord Heseltine on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

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Michael Heseltine has claimed that Dominic Cummings is allowing Boris Johnson to 'rip the heart out' of democracy over Brexit.

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The ex-Tory peer made the comments in the Sunday Times as Johnson continues to repeatedly refuse to rule out suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Heseltine said that Cummings had made his position "intolerable" by being unaccountable.

He said: "Let's be frank… The point about having a prime minister and a cabinet is that they are accountable to parliament.

"We have got this guy who is in direct contact with the British media, briefing them on policies, scathingly attacking members of the House of Commons who should be held in respect, and actually parading himself as the mastermind behind the government.

"That is an intolerable position for democracy."

He continued: "It is absolutely essential that parliament should be able to call to account those who represent them as ministers, but we are now being told by a particular figure, who is proud of it, that he is more of less running the show."

Heseltine also said that the chancellor Sajid Javid was guilty of "economic irresponsibility" for spending on "electoral targets" as the UK heads towards a No-Deal Brexit.

"I think he should start listening to all the professional advisers around him. We all know from all the very widely extensive press reporting, from all the surveys of international financial expertise that actually the situation is serious.

"And the idea that you've got a government that is thrashing money around as if there is no tomorrow, aimed very specifically at very clear electoral targets is actually a policy of economic irresponsibility."

He added: "The economy has stalled, inflation is rising, the pound is in serious difficulties, investment is on hold and there is an atmosphere of total indecision and ineffectiveness at the heart of government."

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