Below is the text of Sir John Major’s letter to The Times newspaper on 22 May 2019.
The sheer folly of suspending Michael Heseltine from the Conservative Whip defies both logic and belief.
Michael has served the Conservative Party loyally and well for over 40 years – in good days and bad. At a time of growing cynicism in politics, his convictions – his Conservative convictions – have remained solid, constant and true. Millions of Conservatives – myself included – share those convictions.
Withdrawing the Whip from such a man – on an issue of conscience – is an over-reaction that will encourage many moderate Conservatives to follow Michael’s example.
Who are these blinkered people, who have suspended the Whip from a lifelong servant of the Party? Moreover, a servant who has contributed to the social and economic welfare of our country on a scale that his critics neither can – nor will – ever match.
I am not the only Conservative who will be dismayed by this decision, which highlights – yet again – how far our Party is moving away from the compassionate and moderate One Nation policies that have enabled the Conservatives to dominate politics for so long.
If the views of the Michael Heseltines of our Party are no longer tolerated within it, then our Party has truly lost its way.