Berkhamsted MP attacks "populist" politicians in Westminster

David Gauke
David Gauke

Justice secretary David Gauke has launched an attack on “populist politicians” who deceive the public by telling them what they think they want to hear.

And he joked that he "might only have three weeks" in the job, after the Conservative leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson said only ministers reconciled to a no-deal Brexit would be allowed to serve in the Cabinet.

The South West Hertfordshire MP, addressing the annual judges’ dinner in the City of London on Wednesday, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that the forces of populism are much stronger in this country and internationally than has been the case for some time.

“A willingness by politicians to say what they think the public want to hear, and a willingness by large parts of the public to believe what they are told by populist politicians, has led to a deterioration in our public discourse."

"“This has contributed to a growing distrust of our institutions – whether that be parliament, the civil service, the mainstream media or the judiciary.”

Mr Gauke defeated a motion of no confidence that was brought against him within his local branch of the Conservative Party on Friday.

He was a supporter of the Remain campaign during the referendum and has been outspoken about the issue ever since.

The no-confidence motion was defeated 123 to 61.

Although the move would not have automatically removed Mr Gauke as the area’s MP or meant he was deselected from standing in the next election, it would have significantly weakened his position.