Tory former chancellor and the longest serving sitting MP Ken Clarke has said the current political situation is a “tragic farce”.
The Father of the House of Commons expressed his concern that events were doing “terrible damage” to the British political institutions, amid what he called the “maddest” of situations of his political lifetime.
Mr Clarke, who has served as the MP for Rushcliffe for 49 years, said the situation was “all rather serious and it’s more of a tragic farce than anything else”.
Speaking at a lunch in Westminster, the 78-year-old continued: “When you think no more ridiculous turn events can take place, another ridiculous turn of events does take place…
“The worrying thing for someone like me is that it is doing terrible, terrible damage to the political institutions of this country.
“Politicians quite rightly are usually held with low regard.
“I’ve never known politicians in a political system held in such contempt as they are by perfectly sensible members of the public at the moment.
“And the traditional centre-right politics, centre-left politics is collapsing – as it is in the Western world… it’s a deep underlying discontent that people have lost confidence in their old, regular politicians, and regular blocs and so on.
“At the moment we are at a fairly dire time and not making much progress towards getting out of it, it seems to me.”