In a striking move, John Major will tonight accuse Gordon Brown of “using the Armed Forces as a Party Political prop
.” This isn’t the first time that Major has been critical of Brown. He was one of the people who, rightly, criticised Brown’s trip to Iraq
during the Tory conference in 2007 and just last month he wrote an article in the Mail on
Sunday that accused Labour of mortgaging the country’s future to buy votes. But his remarks tonight are far more personal about Brown than his previous ones. For a former Prime Minister to accuse the sitting Prime Minister of conduct “profoundly unbecoming” of his office is about as stinging as it gets.
John Major, despite losing heavily in 1997, has standing to make these comments. Not only is he a former Prime Minister but there is also a, perhaps prelapsarian, view that the Major government did not spin or play politics with the nation’s affairs.
Tonight’s remarks are a sign of just how heated this election campaign is now going to get. There is a feeling, largely justified, on the Tory side that Brown will use every advantage that his office bestows in an attempt to win. Major’s comments show how determined the Tories are to counter that.