FORMER Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith called for Prime Minister Theresa May to quit before the European elections in May.
Appearing on Sky’s Sophy Ridge Show he warned against participating in them saying they would be a ‘disaster’ for the Tory Party.
Duncan Smith emphasised: ‘We simply cannot fight the European elections. I gather, dozens of Conservative Association members have now written a letter to the Prime Minister, saying they are not prepared to fight the European elections.
‘It would be an utter disaster for us. It would be a disaster for the country. I mean, what are you going to say on the doorstep? “Vote for me and I’ll be gone in three months?” It doesn’t make any sense.’
Asked: ‘Are you going to campaign in the European elections?’ Duncan Smith replied: ‘I always campaign for Conservative candidates but I absolutely do not want to campaign on the European election ticket which would be almost impossible to justify.
‘And I think the public will ask why are we going to spend £109 million-plus, and add another billion a month to that by being full members of the EU when we could have left and we should leave.
‘So I think the date isn’t October at all, the date is the key moment in May when we have to put up electoral officers. If we don’t put those up then we’re leaving the EU before the end of June.’
Appearing on the BBC’s Marr Show, May’s ‘Deputy’ David Liddington said of the Tory-Labour talks: ‘I had a good businesslike meeting with John McDonnell a couple of days ago and what we’ve agreed is a programme of meetings next week on particular subjects, with the ministers and shadow ministers concerned getting together to talk about things like environmental standards, like workers’ rights, like security arrangements between the United Kingdom and the EU.’
Marr asked him: ‘Do you have a deadline, a point at which you say “these talks have now failed”?’
Liddington replied: ‘No, I don’t have a particular date ringed in the calendar for that, but I think there is a sense in parliament and a sense in the public mood that they want their politicians to get on and deal with this.
‘As government we’ve always made it clear that while we’ll do our best to try and reach a compromise … if that doesn’t work then what we will want to move towards is to put before parliament a set of options with a system for making a choice and parliament actually having to come to a preferred option rather than voting against everything.’
Marr interjected: ‘And you will be bound by that whatever it results in?’
Liddington responded: ‘The government says we will stand ready to implement what parliament decides.’
Marr then asked: ‘Is there any way that this government can sign up to a customs union with the EU or not?’
Liddington replied: ‘What’s been interesting when we’ve started to explore this issue with the Labour Party is that we’ve actually found in terms of objectives there’s a fair bit that both parties would have in common.’
Marr said: ‘John McDonnell says that having a confirmatory referendum is raised at every meeting. When he raises it, what do you say?’
Liddington replied: ‘What I say to him is that we understand where he’s coming from on this. He does raise it at every meeting. The government’s position is very clear and it hasn’t changed.
‘We think that the public came to a clear view in 2016 with all parties and both campaigns having said to them your decision is going to be final.