Rebel Cabinet Ministers Should Have Resigned Already, Says Iain Duncan Smith

21 July 2019, 16:00

Cabinet Ministers who did not vote against a backbench amendment to block proroguing Parliament to force no-deal Brexit should have resigned immediately, says former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Justice Secretary David Gauke announced they will resign from their positions in Theresa May's cabinet if former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wins the Conservative leadership contest.

But Iain Duncan Smith said the pair, as well as Business Secretary Greg Clark and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, should have already resigned for not supporting the government in defeating a backbench amendment aimed at blocking the prorogation of Parliament.

The amendment, led by Labour's Hilary Benn and Tory MP Alistair Burt, passed by a margin of 41 votes, with 315 MPs backing it and 274 opposed.

Minister for culture, media and sport Margot James resigned her position after opposing the government in supporting the amendment.

Philip Hammond, Iain Duncan Smith, and David Gauke
Philip Hammond, Iain Duncan Smith, and David Gauke. Picture: PA

Speaking to Ian Payne on LBC, the former Tory leader said the resignations of Philip Hammond and David Gauke took "two or three days longer than it should have done".

But asked whether he anticipates Boris Johnson to select an entirely pro-Brexit Cabinet if he does beat Jeremy Hunt to Downing Street, Mr Duncan-Smith said he did not.

"I'm sure he won't, he's got a hundred days to deliver what is literally in law that we leave on the 31st October," he said.

"He's going to need people who believe and subscribe to that.

Mr Duncan-Smith also said he had not spoken to the former Foreign Secretary about taking a place in the Cabinet, saying he had "not asked" and was "not expecting" anything.

"I suspect I won't be, but that's something that's of huge indifference to me," he said.

Watch above.