David Cameron will be remembered as man who took Britain out of Europe, says Grant Shapps
PUBLISHED: 10:39 14 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:04 14 September 2016
Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has said David Cameron will be remembered as the man who took Britain out of Europe, following the former Prime Minister’s decision to quit Parliament.
Mr Cameron announced his decision to step down as MP for Witney on Monday, and Mr Shapps has since told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he thinks despite being a good Prime Minister, his legacy will be inextricably linked with the referendum.
He said: “Regardless of many other achievements, including steering this country through the aftermath of the financial crash, most people will look back and recall that he provided a referendum on our continuing membership of the EU.
“He argued that we should remain, but lost the argument and quit.”
Mr Shapps added the resignation came as no surprise, despite Mr Cameron in June stating he would remain an MP, and cited changes in Government direction as a key factor.
“I saw him in the voting lobby last week and immediately thought to myself, ‘I don’t think he is going to be comfortable as a backbencher for the rest of this Parliament until 2020’.
“Changes in policies, for example allowing more grammar schools, would have been difficult for him to not criticise, and I think in the end he decided that it would be better for him to leave parliament and pursue a life after politics.”
He also said Mr Cameron was “a good Prime Minister, but in the wrong times”, adding there was “something naturally sunny and optimistic” about him as opposition leader, before he was burdened with the task of overseeing deficit reduction as PM.
Mr Shapps claimed the former PM was “a very pragmatic leader who hated the idea of being too visionary” – an approach that often served Mr Cameron well – but occasionally meant opportunities to “build a better Britain” were missed.
“Overall he was a pragmatist who would do whatever was practical at that moment,” Mr Shapps added. “He was extremely calm in a crisis, but sometimes this extended to not paying sufficient attention to problems that might be very real biting him hard.
“The failure to recognise the potential outcome of the referendum was, from his point of view, one of those moments.”
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