David Cameron told Michael Gove: ‘You’re either a team player or a w****r’

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
File photo dated 13/7/2016 of David Cameron who, when he was 22, backed calls for a "bonfire" of EU regulations and denounced "Euro red tape" in briefings to MPs, newly-released archive files show.

David Cameron has savaged Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in an interview to promote the launch of his new autobiography.

The former Prime Minister, who quit office after the EU referendum result in June 2016, is about to release his eagerly awaited book.

In an interview with The Times, Mr Cameron criticised Mr Johnson and Michael Gove’s behaviour during the EU referendum, saying: “I say in the book: Boris had never argued for leaving the EU, right?

“Michael was a very strong Eurosceptic, but someone whom I’d known as this liberal, compassionate, rational Conservative ended up making arguments about Turkey [joining] and being swamped and what have you.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove departs Number 10 Downing Street at Downing Street on March 23, 2016 in London, England. David Cameron chaired a second Cobra meeting today in the wake of yesterday's Brussels attacks in which 34 people were killed. He said that UK security had been stepped up in the wake of "a very real terror threat" across Europe. Home Secretary Theresa May will make a statement to the House of Commons following Prime Minister's Questions. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

“They were trashing the government of which they were a part.

“There was a moment when I think it was Penny Mordaunt said on a Sunday morning show: “We have no power to stop Turkey joining the EU.’ It’s just not true.

“The issue of whether or not we had a veto over Turkey, and over the issue of the £350 million on the bus, I think they left the truth at home.”

In the book, the former Tory leader describes why he decided in 2014 to demote him from education secretary to chief whip.

Apparently Cameron said: “You are either a team player or a wanker.”

When asked if he told Mr Gove in person, he replied: “I think I put it in a text.”

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In the interview Mr Cameron was asked of his decision to call the Eu referendum in 2016.

He continued: “I understand that, but the country was divided whether we should be in the EU before the referendum. Some people passionately wanted to leave; some people passionately wanted to stay.

“Some people were very angry that they’d been promised referendums and never had them delivered.

”But this feels like the worst of times. I totally recognise the uncertainty has been painful and difficult.

April 1, 2019 - UK Lawmakers Vote On Brexit Options - March 19, 2019 - Brexit Plans Remain in Disarray - January 21, 2019 - Brexit Stalemate Continues - File Photo by: zz/KGC-42/STAR MAX/IPx 2016 3/14/16 David Cameron at the Commonwealth Observance Day Service. (London, England, UK)

“It’s been difficult for all sorts of people in all sorts of walks of life.”

He was then asked how he felt about the UK voting to leave the EU and triggering the Brexit process.

He answered:“I think about this every day. Every single day I think about it, the referendum and the fact that we lost and the consequences and the things that could have been done differently, and I worry desperately about what is going to happen next.

“I think we can get to a situation where we leave but we are friends, neighbours and partners. We can get there, but I would love to fast-forward to that moment because it’s painful for the country and it’s painful to watch.”