Tory MPs blast ‘brutal assault’ and ‘operation’ waged against Brexit champion Leadsom

Ex-Cabinet minister Owen Paterson, another Leadsom supporter, attacked the “brutal assault” waged against his favoured candidate.

He said: “I’m disappointed because I have had calls all over the weekend from people in the party who wanted to organise hustings meetings and there was real enthusiasm.

“My own association actually saw a sharp increase in membership only last Friday.

“So it is disappointing because I had absolute confidence she would have won with the membership

“But she has made her decision and I think it’s a very noble thing to have done, she made it very clear she did it in the interests of the country.

“She didn’t think a prolonged leadership campaign was the right thing at this moment.

“And she had been under the most brutal assault, which was miserable for her.”

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