“A Tory backbencher has criticised the government and said he would not have stood as an MP “if the situation was like it is now”.
Johnny Mercer told The House magazine he was no longer sure that his “set of values and ethos” were still “aligned with the Conservative Party”.
The party had “lost focus” on fighting for what it believed in and instead was focused on “technocrats and managers”.
Mr Mercer, an ex-Army officer, has said he never voted until he became an MP
The MP for Plymouth Moor View has been critical of the party before, telling the Telegraph in 2017 it was “in danger of losing credibility”.
In his interview with The House, Mr Mercer – who was first elected in 2015 – was critical of Prime Minister Theresa May’s response to a questions about investigations into Northern Ireland veterans, saying “she did not answer in a way that made me proud to be a member of the governing party”.
And, of her Chequers blueprint for post-Brexit relations with the EU, he said: “That is your classic professional politicians’ answer because it’s right down the middle. It doesn’t make anybody happy. It’s the ultimate in not making a decision.”
He said, “under this chief whip, under this prime minister, there is no role for people like me” but added: “That’s fine because nothing lasts forever.” He admitted he would like to be defence secretary – Mr Mercer has campaigned for veterans, including those with mental health problems.
Mr Mercer said that while his “set of values and ethos” had been aligned with the Conservative Party, “I’m not as comfortable that that’s the case anymore.”
And he added: “If the situation was like it is now, I can safely say there would be absolutely no chance that I would try and be a member of Parliament.“