The Bow Group called for the Conservative whip to be withdrawn from the former Cabinet minister and veteran Brussels supporter for his outburst earlier this week.
In an online interview, Lord Heseltine claimed the “short term pain” of a hard-Left Labour government would be less damaging to Britain than the long-term impact of leaving the EU.
But the Right-of-centre Bow Group, which has developed policy ideas for the Conservative Party of more than 66 years, described his remarks as “sabotage”.
Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said: “Heseltine has made clear it is his aim to prevent Brexit at all costs, including the sabotage of his own Party and nation, the Conservative Party must therefore withdraw the whip and end the inevitable continuation of his sniping from inside the tent.”
Lord Heseltine backed Jeremy Corbyn to lead Britain instead of Brexit
Heseltine has made clear it is his aim to prevent Brexit at all costs
He added: “The Brexit negotiations cannot be lead by a Conservative Government that allows outright sabotage to go unaddressed within its own ranks.
“There should absolutely be room for Conservative politicians to disagree with the Government’s approach to Brexit, but for a member to be invested in bringing a Corbyn lead government into power in order to ignore the democratic will of the people in voting for Brexit cannot be tolerated by any party or government who wishes to be taken seriously and maintain parliamentary discipline.
“Michael Heseltine is best known for bringing down the Thatcher Government, his career is a litany of treacherous and self-serving practices, that he is able to continue to do such things in senility only draws attention to the weakness of the Government and embarrasses it at home and abroad.”
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Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski, a member of the Bow Group’s parliamentary board, said: “His indifference towards hard working new Conservative MPs who have won marginal seats against all odds at the last election, especially in Scotland, is breathtaking.
“His lack of respect and loyalty towards the Conservative Party is deeply regrettable.”
And last night, former Tory Cabinet minister Lord Tebbit said: “The Bow Group is absolutely right to make this call and I think the whip should be withdrawn.”
The Bruges Group, a Euro-sceptic organisation supported by several senior Tories, also backed the Bow Group call for Lord Heseltine to lose the Tory whip in the upper house.
The Bow Group called for the Conservative whip to be withdrawn from Lord Heseltine
Lord Heseltine, who was deputy prime minister in John Major’s Tory government in the 1990s, spoke out in an interview for The Limehouse Podcast, an online political news channel that usually features Lib Dem politicians.
Asked what could happen under five years of a Corbyn government, he said: “Well, we have survived Labour governments before.
“Their damage tends to be short-term and capable of rectification. Brexit is not short-term and is not easily capable of rectification.
“There will be those who question whether the short-term pain justifies the avoidance of the long-term disaster.”
Lord Heseltine went on to claim that public opinion was already beginning to turn against Brexit
Lord Heseltine went on to claim that public opinion was already beginning to turn against Brexit.
He speculated that the Labour Party would end up changing its current position to one in favour of staying in the EU.
“If you look at the polls there is probably a bigger majority against Brexit than the referendum secured but that, I think, will continue to happen and it will become more and more unpopular as people realise what it’s all about,” he said.
“When that happens, the Labour party will move, and the present government will be left holding the baby. But then you have got to realise the present government is supported by large numbers of people as opposed to Brexit as I am. How long will they remain within the tribe and loyal to the party?”