Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major tells voters to reject Boris Johnson (Adam Payne,Adam Bienkov)
Britain's former Prime Minister John Major arrives for the memorial service for Lord Paddy Ashdown at Westminster Abbey, London, Britain September 10, 2019. Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool via REUTERS
  • Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major will on Friday urge voters to reject candidates from his own party.
  • Sir John will back several senior Conservatives who were booted out of the party by prime minister Boris Johnson.
  • He will say: "Let me make one thing absolutely clear: none of them has left the Conservative Party, the Conservative Party has left them."
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Former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major will on Friday urge the British public to vote against candidates from his own party at next week's general election.

In an extraordinary intervention, Major, who served as Conservative party leader and UK prime minister for seven years during the 1990s, will instead urge voters to back independent candidates who either quit or were expelled from Boris Johnson's Conservatives over Brexit.

Major, a vocal supporter of remaining in the European Union, will declare his support for former ministers David Gauke, Dominic Grieve, and Anne Milton, who are running as independent candidates at next week's election.

All three were booted out of the Tory party earlier this year for voting to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking at an anti-Brexit rally on Friday afternoon, Major is expected to say: "Let me make one thing absolutely clear: none of them has left the Conservative Party, the Conservative Party has left them."

He will add: "Without such talent on its benches, Parliament will be the poorer, which is why – if I were resident in any one of their constituencies – they would have my vote."

Major is set to speak at an anti-Brexit rally organised by the Vote for a Final Say and For our Future's Sake campaigns.

He will urge voters to reject party loyalties,  declaring "no single party has a monopoly on wisdom" and that "sometimes you need to vote with your head and your heart for your country and your future."

Addressing young voters, the former prime minister will say: "Your vote is absolutely crucial – for you have the longest lease on our country's future and our place in the wider world … Don't wake up on Friday December 13 and regret not making a choice. So choose the future you believe in – for your own generation and the next."

Major campaigned to stay in the EU and has been a vocal critic of the Conservative government's handling of Brexit.

On Friday, he will describe leaving the EU as "the worst foreign policy decision in my lifetime."

"It will affect nearly every single aspect of our lives for many decades to come.  It will make our country poorer and weaker. It will hurt most those who have least," he is set to say.

"Never have the stakes been higher, especially for the young. Brexit may even break up our historic United Kingdom."

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