The former Prime Minister has been a huge critic of Boris Johnson since the former Mayor of London entered 10 Downing Street three years ago. In his latest outburst, Sir John lashed out against senior Conservative Party MPs for not speaking out against the departing Prime Minister, warning they had left the UK “damaged”. Appearing before a House of Commons committee today, he fumed: “What has been done in the last three years has damaged our country at home and overseas and I think has damaged the reputation of Parliament as well.
“The blame for these lapses must lie principally – principally, but not only – with the Prime Minister, but many in his Cabinet are culpable too and so are those outside the Cabinet who cheered him on.
“They were silent when they should have spoken out and then spoke out only when their silence became self-damaging.”
But the relentless criticisms from the former Prime Minister of Mr Johnson and his Government have triggered a furious reaction from a staunch Brexiteer.
GB News presenter and political commentator Darren Grimes tweeted: “Sir John Major’s views are about as welcome as a fart in a lift.
“I don’t think the Tory Party membership will be paying any notice.”
Sir John made his comments during a meeting of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into ethics and propriety in Government.
Reading an opening statement to the committee, he said the Government had “broken the law” and “its own laws”, claiming the “damage from that is widespread and beyond Parliament”.
The former Prime Minister said: “I think the whole country knows the litany.
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“If you look around the world you will find it’s in retreat in many countries and has been for 10 to 15 years or more and it looks like that’s going to continue.
“Democracy is not inevitable. It can be undone step by step, action by action, falsehood by falsehood.
“It needs to be protected at all times and it seems to me that if our law and our accepted conventions are ignored then we are on a very slippery slope that ends with pulling our constitution into shreds.”
The former Prime Minister also argued for changes to be made to the codes of conduct governing ministers’ behaviour.
He added: “Bad habits, if they become ingrained, can become precedent and precedent can carry bad habits on for a very long time and it shouldn’t be permitted to do so.”
The latest outburst from Sir John comes less than a week after Mr Johnson bowed to pressure from a hurricane of MP and minister resignations by announcing his resignation.
The Government had become embroiled in the ‘Partygate’ controversy, which saw the Prime Minister fined for attending a Downing Street parties during the first Covid lockdown.
Last month, he survived a vote of confidence in the House of Commons but the final blow came when scores of MPs and ministers – including Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid – resigned following a furious reaction over the Chris Pitcher scandal.