The former Conservative leader believes that following Sunday’s “grim” election result, the party needs to ensure it fulfils its pledges on leaving the EU. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hague described the Tories’ shocking polling as “by far the worst-ever electoral performance”. The Conservatives mustered just over nine percent of the national vote, their worst scores since the 1830s.
The night saw the Brexit Party complete an incredible rise within six weeks of registering to rack in the highest numbers and become the biggest UK party in European Parliament.
But Mr Hague has now warned any new leader of the Conservatives needs to change tact and deliver where outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May didn’t.
He said: “The parliamentary deadlock facing the new Conservative leader will be even worse than the situation that ended the premiership of Theresa May, and a second referendum will be teetering on the edge of majority support among MPs.
“Yet the pressure on the leadership candidates, with Nigel Farage looming over them, will be to make categoric commitments and unbreakable vows.
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“If they are not careful, they are going to be swept up in the tidal wave of a rampaging Brexit Party and dashed against the sharp rocks of a hostile House of Commons.”
Mr Hague added: “Of course, it is even more difficult in these circumstances, and in an age of declining trust, to resist making statements that remove all doubt.
“But mark my words, leadership candidates, if you say things like “we will leave the EU on 31 October in any circumstances”, or “I will quit if we haven’t left on 1 November”, or “we will have a no-deal Brexit unless the Irish backstop is removed”, you are going – if elected – to regret it very bitterly indeed.”
So far dozens of MPs have put forward their names to attempt to take over from Mrs May.
They include former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Environment Minister Michael Gove and current head of the Foreign Office Jeremy Hunt.
His comments come after contenders were warned the party risks being completely wiped out unless Brexit is delivered.
The Tories have been issued a “final warning” or face a “permanent haemorrhage” in the elections, which saw Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party score 28 seats in an epic win that crushed the crumbling party.
The Conservatives won just four seats, down 15 from the last election, following Prime Minister Theresa May’s handing of Brexit, which days before the crunch ballot saw her put a second referendum on the table to try and get MPs to vote for her controversial EU deal.