Tory Grandee Michael Heseltine Will Vote Lib Dem In European Elections

19 May 2019, 07:27 | Updated: 19 May 2019, 09:59

Former Tory Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine says he will not vote for the Conservative Party in the European elections on Thursday.

Tory grandee and Remainer Lord Heseltine has said he will not vote for his party in the forthcoming European elections.

Speaking to Andrew Pierce on LBC, the former Deputy Prime Minister said: "I believe this is the transcending issue of our time.

"This is about the inheritance we're going to pass on to the younger generation.

"This is about Britain in tomorrow's world and nothing is more important that one's own sense of integrity about that issue.

"And so all the other smaller issues that surround one's own personal lifestyle or career are secondary.

"And certainly party loyalty does not begin to compete with loyalty to one's country."

Lord Heseltine also said he "hopes" the Conservative Party does not kick him out, and believes they would need to 'carefully consider' whether his endorsement of the Liberal Democrats is shared amongst other Tory members.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine
Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine. Picture: Getty

Writing in the Times on Sunday, Lord Heseltine announced his intention to vote for the Liberal Democrats, saying: "In four days’ time, when I place my cross on the ballot paper for the European parliamentary elections, I will vote for a party other than the Conservatives.

"The reason for my experiment with the Lib Dems is, of course, the government’s position on Brexit.

"I cannot, with a clear conscience, vote for my party when it is myopically focused on forcing through the biggest act of economic self-harm ever undertaken by a democratic government."

Reacting to the news on LBC, former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson said it was wrong for the Tory grandee to endorse a different party.

Speaking to Andrew Pierce, Mr Johnson said: "I've got a lot of admiration for [Michael Heseltine] but I think in this particular case he's wrong.

"Switching parties is of course open to everybody, but this particular time I do not think Conservatives need to switch."

Lord Heseltine finished his article by saying: "The issue could not be more urgent. Time is short. The stakes are huge."