David Cameron phoned European and US leaders to apologise over Brexit

Support us and go ad-free

Former prime minister David Cameron rang European leaders and then US president Barack Obama to apologise for his ultimately failed strategy to keep Britain in the European Union.

The Conservative wrote that he was “sad to leave office but even more sad that Britain would be leaving the EU” in his memoir which is being serialised in the Times ahead of its publication on Thursday.

Another revelation in the book, titled For The Record, was that current PM Boris Johnson asked whether Michael Gove was “a bit cracked” after the Brexiteer betrayed him during the 2016 Tory leadership race.

Writing about the morning after the Brexit referendum, in which 52% of people voted to leave the 28 member bloc, Cameron said he was aware of the “enormity of what happened” and that it would “stay with me for the rest of my life”.

He added: “There were phone calls with the other first and deputy first ministers. I spoke to European leaders and to Obama. To each I said the same thing: ‘I had a strategy to keep Britain in the EU. I executed the strategy. It didn’t work. I’m sorry.’”

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

“As it awaited its next occupants, Downing Street became an eerie place. Power was fading like a dimming lightbulb.

“Pre-arranged commitments in my diary kept me busy, but I was beginning to feel like the political equivalent of The Walking Dead.”

The Conservative former prime minister has also recalled the fraught battle to replace him in Number 10 in his memoir.

Gove initially supported Johnson’s campaign but then dramatically withdrew his backing and announced he would stand himself – leading the now-PM to quit the contest.

As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Gove is now responsible for no-deal Brexit preparations in Johnson’s government, and the revelation could put pressure on his relationship with the PM.

The 2016 leadership battle was eventually won by Theresa May, and Cameron revealed in the book how he secretly encouraged Gavin Williamson to help her campaign, according to the Times.

In extracts from the book published over the weekend, Cameron took aim at Gove, describing him as a “foam-flecked Faragist”.

He said Johnson wanted to become the “darling” of the Tory party and “didn’t want to risk allowing someone else with a high profile – Michael Gove in particular – to win that crown”.

Cameron said Johnson “didn’t believe” in Brexit and only backed the Leave campaign to further his career.

“The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career,” he wrote.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us