Ian Payne 4am - 7am
The Next Tory Leader Must Be A Leaver, Insists Former David Cameron Chief Of Staff
15 June 2019, 18:05 | Updated: 15 June 2019, 18:07
The former Chief of Staff for Prime Minister David Cameron said the next Conservative leader should be pro-Brexit.
Alex Deane told Ian Payne that if the next Tory leader is 'denied the authority' of having been voted in by the Conservative Party membership - not just by MPs - the party will "build the prospect of having the same challenge that Theresa May now has".
"This is a crucial time and they have to have the stamp of approval from the membership," he said.
But asked who would have his vote, the former Chief of Staff named Dominic Raab without hesitation, citing the former Brexit Secretary's "charisma" and "talent" over former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
"But the party and the country should be given a real choice of two candidates, and those two candidates can't be a Leaver and a Remainer," Mr Deane said.
"If the Tory party is presented with a Leaver and a Remainer now, the Remainer becomes a sacrificial lamb put up to lose to the leaver.
"Whatever you think about Brexit the Tory Party right now is going to elect a Leaver, so the right thing for the Parliamentary party to do is give us two Brexiteers from which we can choose and have a meaningful choice and a meaningful debate."
His comments come after reports Senior Conservative Party figures were planning for candidates to withdraw from the contest after Boris Johnson gained 114 votes in the first ballot, making the former Foreign Secretary the party leader and next Prime Minister.