What has been happening is damaging at home and to our reputation overseas and that matters. Our reputation overseas matters to us and it should. Let me take a few illustrations, I’ll start with the Standard Commissioner’s report. I think the way the government handled that was shameful and wrong and unworthy of this, or indeed any, Government. It also had the effect of trashing the reputation of Parliament. A number of Conservative MPs rebelled and very well done them, I wish more had had the courage to do so and I suspect they will in future because they were put in a dreadful position by the Prime Minister.
But there’s a bigger point. Parliament cannot be the plaything of any Prime Minister or indeed any government. This government has done a number of things that concern me deeply. They have broken the law, I have in mind the illegal prorogation of Parliament over which I went to the Supreme Court. They have broken treaties, I have in mind the Northern Ireland protocol, they have broken their word on many occasions. The one that I find most odious was the cut to overseas aid, which was a statutory requirement and was cut long before Parliament gave permission for it. Whenever they run up against difficulties with anybody, whether it is the Supreme Court, the Electoral Commission, the BBC, they react not with an understanding, not trying to placate what has gone wrong, but actually in rather a hostile fashion. That’s why I say it is profoundly unconservative and something I dislike intensely.
6 November 2021 – John Major, Conservative MP from 1979 to 2001, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom