Two former British cabinet ministers were caught on a hot mic speaking candidly about Boris Johnson and the three main candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race: Michael Gove, Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom.
In the clip aired by Sky News, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke and Malcolm Rifkind discuss the “fiasco” engulfing their party’s leadership. Oblivious of the live microphone, Clarke laments Michael Gove’s entry into the race, claims that prominent Brexit advocates Johnson and Leadsom are not “in favor of leaving the European Union” and calls Home Secretary May a “bloody difficult woman” like the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“I don’t mind who wins as long as [Michael] Gove comes third. As long as Gove doesn’t come in the final two I don’t mind what happens,” Rifkind said to Clarke.
“I think with Michael [Gove] as prime minister we’d go to war with at least three countries at once,” Clarke responded of Gove’s foreign policy beliefs. “He did us all a favor by getting rid of Boris [Johnson]. The idea of Boris as prime minister is ridiculous.”
Speaking to the Independent about his reaction to the video, Rifkind says he was “hugely amused” being caught speaking off-camera. “It’s good entertaining stuff…..People may say it’s a bit naughty of them [Sky News] but I think under the circumstances it is the world we live in – I make no complaint at all.”