Salmond: PM will pay political price for sacking Heseltine

Alex Salmond has warned Theresa May to remember what happened to the last Prime Minister who crossed Michael Heseltine.
Alex Salmond has slammed the Prime Minister for her sacking of Lord Heseltine. Picture: PAAlex Salmond has slammed the Prime Minister for her sacking of Lord Heseltine. Picture: PA
Alex Salmond has slammed the Prime Minister for her sacking of Lord Heseltine. Picture: PA

The Former First Minister was speaking in a video blog for the P&J where he reflected on yesterday’s news that the Tory grandee had been unceremoniously sacked by the PM after he rebelled over Brexit.

Lord Heseltine was fired after he backed demands in the House of Lords for a “meaningful” vote on the final exit deal, and said he was sorry the Government would lose his expertise.

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Weighing in on the issue, Mr Salmond said that the defiant peer had “inflicted damage” on the PM because “he was right.”

The Gordon MP referred to Lord Heseltine as “Tarzan” in the video, due to the way he “swings through the political jungle”.

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Mr Salmond said: “It’s an act of madness to invoke Article 50, to sever our connection with the EU, on a two year time-scale without first knowing where the negotiations will lead.

He continued: “Michael Heseltine knows this. And instead of listening to a piece of political wisdom she [Theresa May] is charging ahead using the sacking of Tarzan to intimidate Tory backbenches in the Commons, and dragoon them into line.”

The ex-SNP leader then compared the similarities between Margaret Thatcher and the current Prime Minister and cautioned against going up against “Tarzan”.

Mr Salmond added: “Both became inflexible and increasingly dogmatic..both came up to Scotland to deliver condescending lectures and both crossed Tarzan.

“And I suspect both will end up paying the political cost.”

Lord Heseltine is often remembered as the man who toppled Margaret Thatcher from power, only to be denied the fulfilment of his searing ambition - to replace her in 10 Downing Street.

The Thatcherites who live on in the Conservative Party never forgave him for engineering Mrs Thatcher’s downfall.

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The peer was one of 366 peers who inflicted a second defeat on the Government’s Brexit Bill. After three hours of heated exchanges, the House of Lords backed amending the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill by a majority of 98.

Brexit Secretary David Davis accused peers of trying to “frustrate” Britain’s exit from the European Union and insisted the Government intends to overturn the result.

He said: “It is disappointing that the House of Lords has chosen to make further changes to a Bill that the Commons passed without amendment.

“It has a straightforward purpose - to enact the referendum result and allow the Government to get on with negotiating a new partnership with the EU.

“It is clear that some in the Lords would seek to frustrate that process, and it is the Government’s intention to ensure that does not happen. We will now aim to overturn these amendments in the House of Commons.”

Article 50 will be debated in the Commons again on Monday.