David Cameron Gets His Brexit Revenge on Boris Johnson

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13 sept. 2019, 19.35

(Bloomberg) -- Three-and-a-half years after he quit as British prime minister in the wake of the Brexit referendum, David Cameron has got his revenge on the man he blames for his defeat: Boris Johnson.

In an interview with the Times newspaper ahead of the publication of his memoirs next week, Cameron accused Johnson of originally campaigning for Brexit not because he wanted to get Britain out of the European Union, but simply to further his career. He accused the Johnson team of having “left the truth at home” during a campaign in which he behaved “appallingly.”

According to Cameron, Johnson told him “Brexit will be crushed” when he joined the Leave campaign. “Boris thought he was going to lose,” he said.

The interview was conducted before Johnson’s controversial decision to suspend Parliament and expel 21 MPs from his Conservative Party for voting against him. But Cameron then wrote to the interviewer explaining that those events had changed his view of Johnson.

“I didn’t support either of those things,” he said, according to the newspaper. “Neither do I think a no-deal Brexit is a good idea.”

Cameron also suggested another referendum might be necessary. “I don’t think you can rule it out because we’re stuck,” he said.

Though Cameron is no longer in Parliament, his comments will hurt Johnson in one of his most vulnerable areas: trustworthiness. The opposition Labour Party has repeatedly argued Johnson’s assurances on Brexit can’t be believed.

Between 2005 and 2016, Cameron and Johnson worked together to give the Tory party a more modern, liberal image. Now, like many Conservatives and many Britons, the former friends have fallen out over Brexit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Andrew Atkinson

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