David Cameron has revealed Brexit makes him depressed and accuses Michael Gove and Boris Johnson of “trashing the government” with their campaign to leave the EU, in a candid interview ahead of the release of his memoirs.
In an interview (£) with the Times before For The Record hits bookshop shelves, the former prime minister explained how he thinks about losing the referendum “every single day” and what the consequences will be.
He also says a second referendum may be necessary to break the deadlock and criticises Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament and strip 21 Tory MPs of the whip for rebelling.
Speaking from his London home, Cameron told Andrew Billen: “I think about this every day. Every single day I think about it, the referendum and the fact that we lost and the consequences and the things that could have been done differently, and I worry desperately about what is going to happen next.”
Asked if he found sleeping hard, he said: “I worry about it a lot. I worry about it a lot.”
He said he had been under political pressure to hold a referendum in 2016 because there had been a series of treaties and the “issue was not going to go away”, adding he thought about it more than any other decision he made in government.
He reserves his most stinging criticism for his former Tory colleagues Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who were instrumental in the Vote Leave campaign. He said the pair had left him feeling like he was “in a quagmire”. In the book he calls Gove “mendacious” and says the pair behaved “appallingly”.
In the interview, Cameron said Gove’s threat of Turkey joining the EU was “ridiculous” and accused him of creating a false narrative.
“There was a moment when I think it was Penny Mordaunt said on a Sunday morning show: ‘We have no power to stop Turkey joining the EU’. It’s just not true.”