Ken Clarke's off-air comments on Tory leadership candidates – read the full transcript

'She doesn't know much about foreign affairs'

Caitlin Doherty
Tuesday 05 July 2016 15:46
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Ken Clarke caught on camera ridiculing Tory leadership candidates

Former Tory Cabinet minister Ken Clarke has been caught on camera ridiculing the candidates for the Conservative leadership contest. He was filmed having a conversation with Sir Malcolm Rifkind in front of a camera in the Sky News studio, apparently unaware he was being recorded.

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

Ken Clarke: I think that I shall wind up voting for Theresa. I might give Stephen Crabb an encouraging vote first, but I don’t know what Crabb’s views are on most things. A lot of my friends, really, are great fans of his.

But it is, what a fiasco.

Sir Malcom Rifkind: *inaudible* then “As long as Gove is not in the final two then I don’t mind what happens.

Ken Clarke: I don’t think the membership will vote for Gove. I remember being in a discussion once about something we should do in something like Syria or Iraq and he was so wild that I remember exchanging looks with Liam Fox who’s much more right-wing than me, we exchanged 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 just ridiculous! I don't think either Andrea Leadsom or Boris Johnson actually are in favour of leaving the European Union.

Mr Rifkind: Well I don't think they even cared very much either way.

Ken Clarke: No, it was the obvious thing that the voters, i.e. the Conservative Party members, were going to vote to Leave.

In only three years she’s had a Pauline conversion, she does have experience in the City and the Bank of England. 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.

I hope that these two that I’m going to see today will prove me wrong; Stephen and Theresa. One of them has actually begun to have the slightest idea of what they’re going to do! Theresa is a bloody difficult woman but you and I worked with Margaret Thatcher. She won’t be any more difficult than that! I get on all right with her, and she is good. She’s too narrow on her department. 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.

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