Theresa May is unlikely to make it to the Tory party conference as Prime Minister, Michael Portillo has said, as he accused her of lacking “humanity”.
Mr Portillo, a former Cabinet member himself, said he would be “amazed” if Mrs May was still PM by October, when the Conservative Party conference takes place.
He made the claim during an appearance on the BBC’s This Week, during which he also said Mrs May had failed to show any “humanity” by not meeting residents during a visit to Grenfell Tower.
The Prime Minister met fire chiefs but did not speak to residents, while her opposite number, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was seen to be meeting people affected by the blaze.
Asked about their different approaches, Mr Portillo said: “Well, alas, Mrs May was what she has been for the last five to six weeks, that is to say she wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn’t use her humanity.
So she met in private with the emergency services – a good thing to do no doubt – but she should have been there with the residents, which is what Jeremy Corbyn was. He was there hugging people and being natural with them.
“The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by residents but she should have been willing to take that.
“You have to be prepared to receive people’s emotions and not be so frightened about people.”
During a later discussion about Brexit, Mr Portillo suggested that Mrs May’s as Prime Minister are numbers.
“I am a supporter of Brexit but Mrs May hasn’t been able to get a hard Brexit through the electorate,” he said.
“She won’t be able to get it through the Cabinet, she won’t be able to get it through her party, she won’t be able to get it through the Commons, she won’t be able to get it through the Lords. So she might as well stop talking about it right now.
“Actually, it doesn’t matter what she talks about because she isn’t going to be Prime Minister for very much longer.”
Asked, “how much longer?”, Mr Portillo replied: “I would be amazed if she made it to the conference which is in October.”
The top Tory said he thought it would be “humiliating” for Mrs May to attend the conference – a reference to her losses in this month’s election election – and suggested she would be better to avoid such humiliation by standing down before the conference.