Hardline Brexiteers "Naive Or Careless" In Taking Down Theresa May

24 November 2018, 11:03 | Updated: 24 November 2018, 11:27

Lord Heseltine describes the attempt to spark a change of leadership as "too much wind and not enough balloon".

The former deputy prime minister known for toppling Margaret Thatcher from power described the latest attempt by backbench Tories to rid Theresa May as "too much wind and not enough balloon".

Lord Heseltine criticised Tory backbenchers for "trivialising politics" at a time where there are 'bigger things to be concerned with'.

Speaking to Matt Frei, he said that there was "no doubt in anyone's mind that the press conference from Rees-Mogg was a concerted and determined effort to announce they had the 48 letters, and they hadn't."

"They were either extraordinarily naive or careless."

Lord Heseltine
Lord Heseltine. Picture: Getty

Asked separately if he thought Theresa May would be able to continue serving as Prime Minister if her draft Withdrawal Agreement is voted down by Parliament, Lord Heseltine said it would be "very difficult" for her but added "there isn't an obvious successor".

"There's not much point in changing the singer, unless you change the song," he said.

His comments come after a number of Conservative MPs publicly announced they had submitted motions of no confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister to the 1922 Committee.

Since her draft Withdrawal Agreement was published, at least 24 Tory MPs have said they have handed their letter in.

But the chair of the committee Sir Graham Brady says he has not yet received the 48 letters needed in order to trigger the vote of no confidence.