MA­JOR’S BLAST AT TREACH­ERY OF TORY REBELS

Ex-PM: Back valiant May or let in poi­sonous Marx­ists Even David Davis wanted Brexit ally Boris to be f ired

The Mail on Sunday - - Front Page - By Si­mon Wal­ters PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

FOR­MER Prime Min­is­ter Sir John Ma­jor has told war­ring Tory MPs to stop try­ing to sab­o­tage ‘valiant’ Theresa May – or see her over­thrown by a ‘poi­sonous neo- Marx­ist’ gov­ern­ment led by Jeremy Cor­byn.

Sir John’s dra­matic in­ter­ven­tion in the Con­ser­va­tive lead­er­ship cri­sis came amid per­sis­tent ru­mours that Mrs May could be gone within weeks. Writ­ing in to­day’s Mail on Sun­day, Sir John says he is dis­mayed by se­nior Con­ser­va­tives ‘with their own agenda’ who were plot­ting against Mrs May – bound to be seen as a ref­er­ence to the re­cent an­tics of Boris John­son.

He writes: ‘I urge all Con­serva-

tive MPs to re­flect very care­fully on what is at stake.

‘The coun­try has had enough of the self-ab­sorbed dis­loyal be­hav­iour we have wit­nessed for weeks.’

And in a highly sig­nif­i­cant move, Sir John says Mrs May must be more bold if she wants to sur­vive.

He calls for big changes in the Gov­ern­ment’s ‘timid’ poli­cies to counter Labour at­tacks on ‘heart­less’ Tories, such as scrap­ping the ‘messy, un­fair and un­for­giv­ing’ Uni­ver­sal Credit wel­fare re­forms.

He also urges a big emer­gency rise in pub­lic spend­ing to help the ‘have-nots’.

His com­ments come amid a se­ries of ad­di­tional blows to Mrs May’s hopes of restor­ing Tory unity and re-es­tab­lish­ing her au­thor­ity in the wake of her dis­as­trous speech at the party con­fer­ence in Manch­ester last week.

The Mail on Sun­day can also dis­close that:

Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis wanted Mrs May to fire Mr John­son for de­fy­ing her over Brexit in the run-up to the con­fer­ence;

Days be­fore pledg­ing to back Brexit in the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, Mr John­son said he had to do so be­cause he ‘couldn’t bear’ back­ing an­tiBrexit PM David Cameron;

Boris ally James Clev­erly, who has pledged loy­alty to Mrs May, was ac­cused by rebels of se­cretly plot­ting to bring her down – un­til he was ‘ bought off ’ with a Gov­ern­ment job. He de­nies the claim;

D own­ing Street kicked two Con­ser­va­tive MEPs out of the party for vot­ing to block progress in Bri­tain’s Brexit talks.

In his Mail on Sun­day ar­ti­cle, Sir John praises Mrs May’s ‘ valiant’ at­tempts to stay in con­trol. He says he can re­call the dis­as­trous Left-wing Labour gov­ern­ments of the 1970s and de­scribes the prospect of an ad­min­is­tra­tion led by two con­vinced neo-Marx­ists, Jeremy Cor­byn and John Mc­Don­nell, as ‘the re­turn of a night­mare’.

Most vot­ers ab­horred Cor­byn’s views on the IRA and Mc­Don­nell’s eco­nomic plans would be ‘pure poi­son to any hope of pros­per­ity’.

Mrs May’s alli es will be de­lighted that Sir John, whose own 1990s pre­mier­ship was r i ven by Tory f euds, has de­nounced Mr Cor­byn and Con­ser­va­tive rebels.

But they may be alarmed by his call for a mas­sive shake-up in her poli­cies and his claim that the Tories are seen as ‘ heart­less’ by some be­cause ‘Right-wing, pro-Brexit re­ac­tionar­ies’ con­trolled the party.

Jus­ti­fy­ing his plea for a big rise i n spend­ing, Sir John warns that the Gov­ern­ment’s cur­rent ‘piece­meal, timid, toein-the-wa­ter ap­proach’ is not brave enough.

He ar­gues that only dras­tic ac­tion will stave off the threat of Cor­byn in No 10, start­ing by aban­don­ing the new Uni­ver­sal Credit wel­fare sys­tem de­signed to stream­line ben­e­fits, but which Labour says amounts to ‘back­door cuts’.

A num­ber of Tory MPs have warned that the sys­tem, due to be in­tro­duced na­tion­wide soon, is in chaos, with the risk that some peo­ple may be left with no ben­e­fits.

It is un­likely to be lost on Con­ser­va­tive MPs that the ar­chi­tect of Uni­ver­sal Credit was for­mer Wel­fare Sec­re­tary Iain Duncan Smith.

Brex­i­teer Duncan Smith is a long-time foe of Sir John and played a lead­ing role in an­tiEU re­volts that con­trib­uted to Ma­jor’s Elec­tion de­feat by Tony Blair in 1997.

In a scathing cri­tique of Uni­ver­sal Credit, Sir John says it is ‘ the­o­ret­i­cally im­pec­ca­ble’ but adds with­er­ingly: ‘ It is op­er­a­tionally messy, so­cially un­fair, and un­for­giv­ing.’

The Con­ser­va­tive Party must ‘show its heart again’ and dump the IDS ben­e­fits scheme. Sir John con­cedes such mea­sures are a risk but in­sists Mrs May has no choice.

‘Bar­ring the un­ex­pected, we are soon to leave the frus­trat­ing but gen­er­ally com­fort­able em­brace of the EU and for the first time face the prospect of a neo-Marx­ist gov­ern­ment.’

In a cry from the heart, Sir John says: ‘Many peo­ple are an­gry and fear­ful over what the fu­ture holds.

‘An un­easy na­tion is cry­ing out for the Gov­ern­ment to speak for them.’

A spokesman for Mr Davis said last night that the claim that he thought Mr John­son should have been sacked was ‘tit­tle-tat­tle’.

Mean­while, MEPs Julie Gir­ling and Richard Ash­worth were sus­pended from t he party for sup­port­ing a res­o­lu­tion to block Brexit talks mov­ing for­ward.

‘Many are fear­ful about the fu­ture’

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