Former Tory chairman Lord Patten has said a Boris Johnson victory at the next general election would be a “disaster”.
The party grandee, who served under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, also warned that the United Kingdom could break up if the prime minister remains in Number 10.
Appearing on LBC, he said Johnson was leading an “English nationalist” government rather than a Conservative one.
He added: “For me the Conservatives, unless they change very radically, winning the next election would be a disaster for them and the rest of us because I don’t think we have a Conservative government at the moment... and one that you can’t trust.”
Lord Patten, who was also the last ever British governor of Hong Kong, said a second term in office for the PM would “hasten the break-up of the union” because of his treatment of Northern Ireland and unpopularity in Scotland.
He said: “You want to break up the union you send Boris Johnson up to Scotland.”
The veteran politician added: “I think it’s probably a threat given the way in which the Northern Ireland Protocol is being played, terrible playing fast and loose with the most important peace agreement this country has reached in years over Northern Ireland.
“I think we’re talking about the possible break-up of the union in those circumstances.”
Asked what result he would like to see after the next election, Lord Patten said he “would prefer to see probably a coalition which holds the union together”.
It is not the first time the staunch Remainer has made clear his unhappiness with the prime minister.
In February, he described him as “a moral vacuum” who is now in his “final act” as PM.