David Cameron believes that Boris Johnson should unleash more austerity across the UK despite admitting his own cuts were deeper than Margaret Thatcher’s.
In his new book For the Record, published today, the former Prime Minister attacked critics of his flagship economic policy as “hysterical” and insisted: “The job we started still needs to be finished”.
The ex-Tory leader, the architect of the austerity that has ruined thousands of lives, claimed that he had been aiming for “far tougher” cuts than even unleashed by Mrs Thatcher, dismissing those as “mild”.
He wrote: “I would argue that this was not like the 1980s. Then, the rhetoric was very tough, but the overall cuts were really quite mild. Conversely, what we were attempting in terms of cutting Government spending was far tougher in reality, but I wanted to take more or the country with me”.
Astonishingly, Mr Cameron claimed that austerity had still not gone far enough - even though both his successors Theresa May and Mr Johnson have said the opposite.
“My assessment now is that we probably didn’t cut enough. We could have done more, even more quickly... Those who were opposed to austerity were going to be opposed - and pretty hysterically - to whatever we did.
“Given all the hype and hostility, and yes, sometimes hatred, we might as well have ripped the plaster off with more cuts early on... The job we started still needs to be finished”.
The former PM claimed that the Lib Dems, the Tories’ coalition partners between 2010 and 2015, were “consulted on every cut”.
But shadow chancellor John McDonnell reacted furiously to the suggestion that Britain needed more austerity.
Speaking exclusively to the Mirror, he said: "David Cameron living in wealthy privilege has no understanding of the suffering austerity has caused for our people, especially for the 4 and a half million children living in poverty in our society.
“He is willing to stand by and watch whilst families queue at food banks. It’s another example of Tory brutality."
In his long-awaited memoirs, the self-pitying Tory politician has admitted he felt “haunted” by his decision to hold a Brexit referendum and launched devastating blue-on-blue attacks on Michael Gove and Boris Johnson .
He branded his successor at No 10 “full of jealousies and paranoias” which he claimed “so often” influenced his behaviour.
Underlining Mr Johnson’s untrustworthiness, adding: “I liked Boris and he made me laugh but I didn’t always trust him”.
It came as Mr Gove’s wife revealed the depth of her family’s feud with the Camerons after not seeing the former PM for more than three years.
The families were close friends for more than a decade - attending their wedding, holidaying in Scotland, having wives-only breaks in Ibiza, and glugging cocktails at Chequers.
But journalist Ms Vine confirmed the last time she saw “Dave” was in February 2016 - saying: “By then, it was already too late. Politics and its corrosive influence had driven a wedge between us. The referendum was just the final hammer blow.”
Asked whether he would rekindle the friendship in an LBC interview today, Mr Cameron admitted: “I want to try”.
He added: “A lot of water has flown under the bridge, but it just was very difficult at the time of the referendum”.
In the radio interview, Mr Cameron appeared to back Mrs May’s controversial decision to give Geoff Boycott a knighthood. The ex-England cricketer was convicted in a French court of domestic abuse with a past girlfriend. He has always denied the claims.
The ex-PM also revealed that when he mistakenly left his then 8-year-old daughter Nancy in a country pub, when he went back to get her she was pulling pints behind the bar.
A new BBC documentary last night revealed that the Queen’s unusual intervention ahead of the Scottish referendum came after a request from Mr Cameron.
He suggested the monarch could ‘raise an eyebrow’ during the Scottish referendum campaign, at a time when the polls were narrowing in favour of the ‘Yes’ campaign.
He was staying at Balmoral, when a newspaper poll came out putting the Yes campaign ahead for the first time. Cameron described how it hit him “like a blow to the solar plexus” and led to a “mounting sense of panic that this could go the wrong way.”
The Queen made the surprise plea to Scots to ‘think very carefully’ about how they would vote, just a week before the September 2014 referendum.
She told a member of the public: “I hope everybody thinks very carefully about the referendum this week.”
Mr Cameron wrote of this intervention: “I was delighted”.