A Conservative back bencher has launched a scathing attack on his own party, saying he wouldn’t vote for them if he was not an MP.
Johnny Mercer also described Theresa May’s government as a ‘shitshow’ and said he would refuse to serve in it as a minister.
Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor since 2015, told The House magazine that he would not even be interested in becoming an MP in the current political climate.
He also appeared to accuse Prime Minister Mrs May of being ‘unimaginative’ and ‘a technocrat’ and said he could never serve under her.
Brexit had left the Conservatives and the government “in a position now where people are beginning to ridicule us”, said Mercer.
Too many leading Tories were sitting on safe Parliamentary seats, he added, and were by implication out of touch with the electorate’s views.
Mercer campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU and says the subsequent chaos around Brexit could lead to a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
He was asked how he would vote now if he was not an MP and replied: “I wouldn’t go and vote. Just being honest, I wouldn’t vote.
“If the situation was like it is now, I can safely say there would be absolutely no chance that I would try and be a member of parliament.”
Mercer, a former captain in 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, served three tours in Afghanistan before leaving the Army in 2013.
He described himself as “inherently a team player” but was scathing about the state of the current Government.
“When you go home from here on a Thursday and go for a run… and you’re stripped to your core being, I mean, yeah, you realise it’s a shitshow,” he said.
He said voters in his constituency were concerned about issues other than Brexit and implied the party was not delivering on that.
“They’ll think, ‘Why should I vote for your government? You might sort out Brexit eventually but my operation was cancelled again last week.”
He described Mrs May’s Chequers plan as a “classic professional politician’s answer” which ended up pleasing no one.
His outspoken views were not driven by ambition for the leader’s job, he insisted: “My ambition here has always been to be defence secretary.”
He later stressed in a TV interview that he was not one of those calling for May to go and that he stood by his remarks “100 per cent”.