Theresa May’s former policy guru has been told to “shut the fuck up” by the Tories deputy party chairman James Cleverly.
The Braintree MP, promoted to the post in the New Year reshuffle, took aim at Nick Timothy as he discussed how the Tories needed to be bolder to win over voters.
Along with Fiona Hill, Timothy resigned as May’s chief of staff after the 2017 General Election, with many Tories blaming his tactics and policies for the loss of the party’s parliamentary majority.
He is now a columnist for the Telegraph and the Sun, and on Monday he attacked Tory strategists for focusing the party’s message on environment policies.
Earlier this month, Timothy got into a public spat with former Universities Minister Jo Johnson after accusing ex-Education Secretary Justine Greening of blocking tuition fee reforms.
Cleverly, known for his outspoken comments on social media, was asked at a recording of comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast whether Timothy should “shut up”.
“Yes,” he replied, adding: “Sometimes the best thing you should do in politics is shut the fuck up.”
Cleverly went on: “Sometimes you just need to shut up and get on with the day job.
“He’s a really clever guy but he didn’t do us any great favours in the General Election.”
He added that “a period of silent contemplation” would be welcomed by many.
Cleverly used much of the podcast to attack Labour, but admitted he was jealous of the pride his political opponents have in their party.
Reflecting on the perceived reluctance of Tories to champion their party’s achievements, he said: “That really grips me.
“I envy the Labour party’s institutional passion. You talk to Labour MPs they know their history, they know the stuff that they’ve done.”
Cleverly also accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being the “king of spin” for aligning himself with grime music.