The Lib Dem MP and former energy secretary on the lies of the Brexiteers—and how he plans to expose themby Alex Dean / September 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
“Mr Johnson has betrayed his country. That’s unforgivable. People need to know what a traitor he is.”
Ed Davey, Lib Dem MP and former cabinet minister, took no prisoners in his assessment of government Brexiteers—and one Brexiteer in particular. Boris Johnson’s insistence over the weekend that Brexit will indeed free up £350m for the NHS “shows you what a despicable man he is. How anyone can think he’s fit for office is a joke.”
In an exclusive interview with Prospect, Davey continued his remarkable assault on the Foreign Secretary. “Duplicitous liar doesn’t come close to that man,” he said. “He’s held in the lowest regard of any foreign secretary of modern times, including by the countries we regard as our closest allies.”
“I’m probably doing any shred of relationship with him fatal damage,” Davey said, “but I don’t care.”
The former energy secretary paused for breath. We were downstairs in a deserted hotel bar during the Liberal Democrat Autumn conference in Bournemouth. The theme tune to Snoopy played on the hotel speakers—on repeat. The surreal atmosphere was punctured by yet another stinging accusation from Davey.
Earlier this week David Norgrove, chair of the UK statistics authority, reprimanded Johnson over his £350m figure, which he said was a misuse of the figures. An almighty row ensued. Davey suggested to me the stats body would be at risk if Johnson replaced Theresa May: “In the long term if he becomes PM I worry about the independence” of the body “because an inveterate liar like Boris Johnson won’t want to be brought up on how to count by them.” Johnson, for his part, maintains he has done no wrong.
“Mr Johnson has betrayed his country. That’s unforgivable”
Having initially represented his constituency Kingston and Surbiton from 1997-2015, Davey lost out in the election two years ago, when the Lib Dems were all but wiped off the map. He returned to parliament in June. Though the expected Lib Dem resurgence didn’t quite materialise—the final tally of 12 MPs was “not good”—he is “delighted to be back.”
When Tim Farron resigned as Lib Dem leader shortly after the vote, Davey was immediately discussed as a frontrunner to replace him. He chose not to stand for personal reasons, he says, but…