Ken Clarke has been caught criticising Tory leadership candidates in a candid off-air moment at Sky News’ Westminster studio. (Watch video)
The former chancellor had just been interviewed when he was recorded on a live microphone giving his opinions to Sir Malcolm Rifkind about the “fiasco”.
Sir Malcolm, who was also appearing as a guest, started the conversation with Mr Clarke when he leaned in to say: “I don’t mind who wins as long as Gove comes third. As long as Gove doesn’t come in the final two I don’t mind what happens.”
Mr Clarke on Michael Gove:
“I don’t think the membership will vote for Gove. I remember being in a discussion about something to do with somewhere like Syria or Iraq and he was so wild that I remember exchanging looks with Liam Fox.
“We were exchanging views and Liam was raising eyebrows.
“I think with Michael as prime minister we’d go to war with at least three countries at once.
“He did us all a favour by getting rid of Boris. The idea of Boris as prime minister is ridiculous.”
On Andrea Leadsom:
“I don’t think either Andrea Leadsom or Boris Johnson actually are in favour of leaving the European Union.
Sir Malcolm: “Well I don’t think they even cared very much either way.”
Mr Clarke: “She is not one of the tiny band of lunatics who think we can have a sort of glorious economic future outside the single market.
“So long as she understands that she’s not to deliver on some of the extremely stupid things she’s been saying.”
On Theresa May:
“Theresa is a bloody difficult woman but you and I worked with Margaret Thatcher (laughs).
“I get on all right with her … and she is good.
“She’s been at the Home Office far too long, so I only know in detail what her views are on the Home Office.
“She doesn’t know much about foreign affairs.”
Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb make up the five candidates campaigning to become leader of the party and prime minister following David Cameron’s resignation after the Brexit vote.