A former sparring partner of Amber Rudd’s has come out all guns blazing this morning branding the Hastings MP as at, “a Hunt and Johnson level of venal!”
The scathing attack by the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Perry who has contested the Hastings and Rye Parliamentary seat on three occasions came after Ms Rudd appeared on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s talkRADIO programme this morning and appeared to accept the prospect on a so-called no-deal exit from the European Union on October 31st.
Hear the talkRADIO interview here
Ms Rudd, currently Work and Pensions secretary explained during her interview: “Both candidates have said that no deal is part of the armoury going forward, and I have accepted that.
“The situation is that we are leaving at the end of October but it would be so much better to get a deal. What we really need is for everybody’s effort to go into trying to get a deal.”
For Mr Perry though, it was all too much: “I am sure Amber will find some silver-tongued way of explaining how this volte-face to support a no deal Brexit is in the best interests of our most vulnerable in Hastings and Rye, rather than her own career in the Conservative Party.
“I was disgusted with her over Windrush. This now puts her at a Hunt and Johnson level of venal, in my opinion.”
The Sun says Ms Rudd has performed a ‘dramatic U-turn’ and her shift in position is a sign that, “no-deal is becoming ever more likely as rebel Tories fall in line”.
Boris Johnston has said that any Conservative MP who hopes to serve in his cabinet if – and as is increasingly likely when – he becomes Prime Minister later this month will have to accept that the UK is leaving the EU on October 31st, he said recently: “I want obviously to have a broad range of talent in my Government, the Government that I will lead, but clearly people must be reconciled to the very, very, very small possibility, and I stress it will be a very, very small possibility, that we would have to leave on those terms.
“I don’t think it will happen but they would have to be reconciled to it.”
According to The Guardian this morning: “Rudd’s change of heart makes her one of a string of Tories who have hardened their Brexit positions in recent weeks in order to back Johnson.”
Friends of Ms Rudd are said to want he to remain in her current cabinet role believing it is better to be around the cabinet table as an influence than on the back benches.
Ms Rudd has been actively supporting Johnson’s rival for the leadership, Jeremy Hunt, who has also said during the campaign that the possibility of no deal is a real one.
However, this morning’s interview on national radio was her clearest statement yet that she could be prepared to serve in the cabinet of a prime minister with an explicit no-deal policy.
Mr Perry was at the forefront of a successful Liberal Democrat campaign during the European election campaign that sold a very clear message that the Liberal Democrats want to stop Brexit altogether and remain in the EU. Last week he announced that he has written to Hastings Green Party with an offer to form an electoral pact for next year’s Hastings Borough Council elections.
Ms Rudd’s comments this morning are being interpreted by a number of political commentators as an attempt to secure herself a ministerial job under Boris Jonson.
Alongside fellow remain supporting cabinet ministers Greg Clark and David Gauke Ms Rudd had previously threatened to resign from the cabinet if the present Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to force through a no-deal solution to the Brexit crisis.
Yesterday the Politics Home website reported that Jeremy Hunt had said he would not allow “close ally” Ms Rudd join his Cabinet if she refused to sign up to plans for a no-deal Brexit.
The website reported: “Mr Hunt, who is squaring off with Boris Johnson to become the next Prime Minister, said Ms Rudd would need to ‘accept the possibility’ of Britain leaving the EU without a deal before joining his top team,” and this morning she appears to have don just that.