Nigel Farage should have been given a peerage and appointed chief Brexit negotiator after Britain voted to leave the EU, a Conservative MP has said.
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone hailed the former UKIP leader, and insisted that “we would have been out by now” if Mr Farage had been leading talks with the EU.
Speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally in Solihull – just 20 minutes from the official Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham – Mr Bone and Mr Farage joined forces with other prominent Brexit campaigners.
They called on Prime Minister Theresa May to “chuck” her Chequers plan for the UK’s divorce from the EU.
Mr Bone urged campaigners to “pester your MP and tell them you want a proper Brexit”, but warned them “time is limited”.
Andrea Jenkyns, a Tory backbench MP dubbed a “rising star” at the event, compared the government to a “Reliant Robin” in an echo of Boris Johnson’s claim that ministers are heading into battle “with a white flag fluttering over our main tank”.
Mr Farage complained it was clear the prime minister wanted to “keep us wrapped up in European rules”.
He also mocked the Conservatives’ security breach at the beginning of their annual conference, which saw senior cabinet ministers’ mobile phone numbers leaked.
“You no longer need to write to the prime minister, you can just ring them up directly because you’ve got all their details,” he joked.
“I suggest you take the opportunity.”
The rally was the latest in a series of interventions designed to pile pressure on Mrs May to drop the Chequers proposal.
However, the prime minister insisted earlier on Sunday her Brexit plan was “not dead” and she is “delivering Brexit in a way that respects the vote”.
In a message to her critics, Mrs May told the BBC: “If they’ve got counter-proposals, let’s hear what those counter-proposals are.
“What my mood is is to listen to what the EU has to say about their concerns and then to sit down and talk them through with them.”
She added in a thinly-veiled attack on Mr Johnson: “I do believe in Brexit. But, crucially, I believe in delivering Brexit in a way that respects the vote.”