FORMER Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May, blaming the under-fire Prime Minister for worsening an already “chaotic” political situation.
The MP for Chingford and Woodford Green attacked Mrs May’s Brexit negotiation strategy and urged Britain to leave the European Union by the end of October. Lamenting the huge sway of Conservative support being diverted to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, Mr Duncan Smith wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “I had thought it wasn’t possible to make this situation any worse, yet this week the Government has managed it. “First came the bizarre announcement of a chaotic multiple choice vote in Parliament.
“Then, 24 hours later, they changed their minds and decided to hold a fourth vote on Theresa May’s deal – a vote, incidentally, that the Government will almost certainly lose.
“As the Government keeps up this ridiculous mantra that what the public wants is for them to do a deal with a Marxist Labour party, which would include membership of a customs union, the public instead are voting with their feet.”
He went on to comment on the number of Tory activists and councillors who will not be voting for the Conservatives at next week’s European elections.
The MP continued: “It strikes me that if this Game of Thrones saga is the answer to 17.4 million people who feel betrayed, what on earth do they think was the question?”
The column comes soon after Mrs May announced she would set out a timetable for her own departure – and Mr Duncan Smith urged the party leadership to show some much-needed coherence to the electorate.
He wrote: “The lowest moment of all, however, came with the bizarre announcement of an agreement between Sir Graham Brady and Mrs May to set out ‘a timetable’ for her departure after that vote has been held.
“This is deeply unsatisfactory not least because the wording is so vague.
“What the party and the country is crying out for is clarity.
“We need to know whether a leadership contest can be concluded before Parliament rises for the summer recess in late July.
“This has to be the deadline for a new leader taking office if anything is to be achieved on Brexit over the summer.”
And transferring his criticisms to Brussels, Mr Duncan Smith also took aim at European Union negotiator Guy Verhofstadt.
Referring to the BBC’s recent documentary ‘Storyville: Brexit behind closed doors’, he said: “It shows how hopeless the Government’s weak negotiations have been.
“They even refer to Theresa May’s deal as having left the UK as a colony of the EU.
“Once you strip away the arrogant chest bumping and boozy insults thrown our way, it becomes crystal clear that the British Government’s negotiating strategy has been weak and without any political compass.
“It is time to really take back control and to do that we must leave the EU and obtain our independence again.
“The only way to do this is to now accept that we will do that without a withdrawal agreement if necessary, but most of all we must leave at the latest by the October 31 – deal or no deal.”