Lord Howe has launched a scathing attack on the Conservative party leadership. In an opinion piece in the Observer, he writes:
Former foreign secretary Lord Howe has claimed David Cameron is losing control of his party as the Conservatives' "long, nervous breakdown" over Europe continues.
Lord Howe, whose differences with Baroness Thatcher over Europe led to his resignation and triggered her downfall, said Mr Cameron had "opened a Pandora's box politically" through his plan to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the European Union.
In a strongly-worded attack he said the Tory leadership was "running scared" of its backbenchers and had allowed Euroscepticism to "infect the very soul of the party".
Writing in The Observer, Lord Howe said the row over the lack of legislation paving the way for the Prime Minister's referendum by 2017, which led to a total of 116 Tories opposing the Government's legislative programme, marked a "new, almost farcical, low" for the party.
Lord Howe, Baroness Thatcher's former foreign secretary, said his ex-leader had had the "ability to handle a whole range of foreign policies".
It was Lord Howe's resignation speech, in which he was very critical of her leadership, that led to Michael Heseltine's leadership challenge and Mrs Thatcher's ultimate fall in 1990.
Speaking on Sky News today, Lord Howe said his speech had not been an attack on Mrs Thatcher.
Asked about his personal relationship with her, he replied: "It was all a long time ago."