John Major: Leadership threats against PM 'unacceptable'" width="976" height="549">
Sir John said the attacks were not in the spirit of politics
Taunts being made against Theresa May and routine attacks on her leadership by some Tory MPs are "completely unacceptable", Sir John Major has said.The ex-PM called those challenging Mrs May "inexperienced", adding that he felt "even more closely drawn" to her when he looked at the alternatives.Speaking in South Shields, he also made the case for another Brexit vote.It comes after Boris Johnson set out a "better Brexit plan" and refused to rule out a leadership challenge.The former foreign secretary quit the cabinet in July in protest at Mrs May's plan for future economic co-operation with the EU - known as the Chequers plan - a strategy Mr Johnson described on Friday as "simply intolerable".
It has also been fiercely criticised by some Brexiteers, who say her proposal for a "common rulebook" on goods would compromise the UK's sovereignty and betray the 2016 referendum vote. Earlier this month Conservative MPs opposed to the PM's plan met to discuss how and when they could force her to stand down.
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Speaking at an event in South Shields alongside the former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband, Sir John said some of the MPs threatening Mrs May did not realise how "distasteful" their "daily taunts and dishonesties" were.He did not mention any MP by name, but said: "When I look at the alternatives to the prime minister I am drawn even more closely to her.""I do not think routine attacks on the PM in the most lurid fashion is either the spirit of politics that one would wish to see, or is it in the interest of the negotiating posture of the United Kingdom."He added: "When you see the inability of those who level these taunts to actually come up with any coherent plan of any sort themselves, when you see the threats that come in her direction of a leadership election unless she delivers a certain sort of Brexit, then I must say I think that goes far beyond anything that I would think was remotely acceptable in behaviour towards any prime minister."
In an interview with the BBC, Boris Johnson refused to rule out challenging Theresa May as Tory leader
Elsewhere, Sir John reiterated his belief that the UK public should be allowed to vote again on leaving the EU - because the argument made in favour of Brexit at the 2016 referendum had been "a fantasy"."Almost nothing that was said has turned out to be the case," he said.The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and negotiations on the terms of exit and future co-operation are continuing.
Boris Johnson
Theresa May
John Major
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