FURIOUS Brexiteers yesterday accused Jeremy Hunt of making a “Little Englander” jibe at Brits who voted Leave.
The Foreign Secretary triggered fury as he said he wanted to deliver a Brexit for everyone, not just the 52 per cent who backed leaving the EU.
In a Twitter Q&A on Tuesday night he said: “Deliver a Brexit that works for the 48 per cent not just the 52 per cent – a positive open and internationalist Brexit. Great Britain, not Little England.”
Tory and Labour MPs leapt on the comments to question his desire to deliver Brexit at all. Boris supporter Ben Bradley called him “Theresa in Trousers”.
He said: “There is no such thing as a Brexit that works for people who do not want Brexit.”
And in an astonishing attack, Labour Leaver Kate Hoey slammed Mr Hunt for making such a “snide” comment.
As the row spiralled, Jeremy Hunt insisted the accusations were wrong and it was “literally the opposite of what I said”.
He explained: “Brexit is not and never will turn us into Little England and I’d never suggest that’s what Brexiteers want.
“But it must be right to address the fears of some remain voters on this, which I will do in order to heal Brexit divisions.”
WAR OF WORDS
Hunt is currently facing former foreign secretary and mayor of London Boris Johnson in a race to replace Theresa May as prime minister.
Both say they hope to reopen Brexit negotiations with the European Union and secure an alternative to her withdrawal agreement.
The two have engaged in a war of words in recent days, with Hunt having suggested Johnson was not trustworthy, and Johnson’s campaign responding by accusing Hunt of “ludicrously tilting at windmills” in his bid for the leadership.
Hunt has been accused by arch Eurosceptics of ‘converting’ to Brexit after voting Remain in 2016 to embolden his chances of reaching No.10.
But Mr Hunt insisted he can be trusted on Brexit and that he would vote to leave in the event of a second referendum.
He puts his change of heart down to the “arrogance of the European Commission” during Brexit negotiations.
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Insiders said yesterday’s row could hurt his chances of the top job given most Tory members who have a say on who wins the leadership contest are Brexiteers.
Mr Hunt is backed by anti-No Deal Tories such as Amber Rudd but also Liam Fox, the Brexiteer International Trade Secretary.
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