Tory peer and former deputy PM Michael Heseltine has said that Theresa May lacks the authority to stop the infighting in her cabinet in a devastating assessment of the state of the government.

In the last three days, three different newspapers have run damaging front page stories about Philip Hammond based on briefings from other cabinet ministers.

Theresa May will read the riot act to minister at tomorrow’s cabinet meeting in a bid to stop the backstabbing, her official spokesperson told journalists today.

But Heseltine told World at One that she doesn’t have the authority to back up her warning with action. Asked whether May should sack ministers for their conduct, he said:

“She would if she could. But you know, all these leaks, the people inside Number 10, they’ll know who has done it, you always know these things. 

“You may not be able to prove it but you know. My guess is that it’s a leading Brexiteer. I have no evidence but that’s where the self interest lies. And she can’t sack leading Brexiteers because she has no authority. 

“So you have an enfeebled government. Everybody knows this. I don’t like saying it but I’m not telling you anything that any journalist is not writing every day.” 

And on the day David Davis began the second round of Brexit negotiations in Brussels, Heseltine added:

“The Europeans have worked it all out – this is a government without authority, this is a deeply divided government.

“And what they know, what the Europeans know, and what our national press knows is everyday there’s a more depressing headline.”

Heseltine’s scathing verdict’s on the government appear to becoming a regular feature of the World at One.

Only three weeks ago Scrapbook reported how he described May as “devoid of reality” and predicted her demise as Prime Minister in an appearance on the programme. 

But Tarzan’s latest attack is particularly brutal – even for a man who strangled his mother’s pet dog with his bare hands….

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