Ex-Minister Slams May's Brexit Betrayal
Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit talks with the Labour Party are a "grave mistake", according to former defence secretary Gavin Williamson.
Mrs May is hoping to reach a cross-party consensus on her withdrawal agreement after failing to get it through Parliament three times.
But Mr Williamson - sacked over the Huawei leak - told the Mail on Sunday the talks were "destined to fail".
He added Jeremy Corbyn's only real interest was a general election.
The South Staffordshire MP said: “Even if Labour do a deal, break bread with the Prime Minister and announce that both parties have reached an agreement, it can only ever end in tears. The Labour party does not exist to help the Conservative party. Jeremy Corbyn will do all he can to divide, disrupt and frustrate the Conservatives in the hope of bringing down the Government."
"His goal, and he has made no secret of it, is to bring about a general election," he added.
BBC political correspondent Jonathan Blake said a Downing Street source had indicated Mr Williamson had been "supportive of the process while he was in the cabinet" and that he had "not been involved in the talks himself".
A Downing Street source remarked, somewhat snidely, that Mr Williamson had been “supportive of the process while he was in the Cabinet”, adding that he had “not been involved in the talks himself”.
But Williamson’s comments come as there is broad dissatisfaction within the Conservative Party with Mrs May meeting with Labour to negotiate a Brexit deal.
Former Foreign Secretary and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson previously argued Corbyn should be nowhere near a position of power and certainly not engaged in Brexit talks.
“It seems utterly incredible that [Corbyn] has now been invited into Downing Street to negotiate a Brexit deal… [and] to get Corbyn onside, the Government is apparently willing to abandon the cardinal principle and central logic of Brexit,” he said.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which provides Mrs May’s minority government with its precarious majority in the House of Commons, has also taken issue with her “sub-contracting” Brexit to a “known Marxist” regarded as an Irish Republican Army (IRA) sympathiser.
Mr Williamson's comments come after Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady said that he expected the government's Brexit talks with Labour to "peter out" within days.
Speaking on Saturday, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, said he found it "very hard" to see the talks leading to a "sensible resolution."
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said that Labour was acting "in good faith" in the negotiations but was "not getting very far".