BBC viewers have blasted ‘smug’ David Cameron as the ‘worst diplomat ever’ after watching a documentary about his failed attempts to negotiate with the EU before calling the 2016 referendum.
The first episode of Inside Europe: 10 Years Of Turmoil tells the story of how the Prime Minister was pushed by Brexiteers into announcing the vote, and how he negotiated with EU leaders to secure the concessions he thought he needed to win.
But many Twitter users thought the programme exposed Mr Cameron’s incompetence, with one claiming it showed him up as a ‘lightweight PR man who got far on luck and contacts’.
Many Twitter users thought the BBC’s Europe: 10 Years In Turmoil exposed Mr Cameron’s incompetence
Adam Dennett tweeted: ‘Watched the Inside Europe documentary on BBC2 last night.
‘Aside from an unavoidable urge to punch David Cameron’s shiny smug face every 5 minutes, I was struck by the idiotic Tory negotiating MO: demand stuff until red faced while Europeans tell you it doesn’t work like that.’
David Hughes said: ‘Overwhelming impression: David Cameron even more of a shallow charlatan than had thought. Always tactical, never strategic, prepared to incur lasting damage to address minor problems better left alone.’
And David Timoney wrote: ‘Watching Inside Europe on BBC2 you realise that David Cameron was never anything more than a lightweight PR man who got far on luck and contacts.
‘You also get a sense of the mutual contempt between George Osborne and Theresa May.’
During the episode, Brexiteers Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan reveal how they sought to turn up the heat on the Prime Minister.
And for the first time on television, William Hague, George Osborne and Nick Clegg reprise the arguments inside Government that led to the decision which sparked the biggest political crisis since World War Two.
Osborne warned against a gamble that could be a ‘disaster for Britain’, but Hague thought there was no other option, saying: ‘This was coming. Either we had to lead that or be the victims of it’.
Meanwhile, EU leaders including Francois Hollande and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte describe warning Mr Cameron about the risks of holding the referendum.
James Gale tweeted: ‘Inside Europe is a gripping watch – brilliantly exposes David Cameron’s reckless arrogance in handling the EU, immigration and Tory Eurosceptics. Do not let Danny Dyer see this.’
Mr Cameron meets Georgios Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Brussels on March 20, 2011
The first episode of Inside Europe: 10 Years Of Turmoil tells the story of how the Prime Minister was pushed by Brexiteers into announcing the vote, and how he negotiated with EU leaders. Pictured are viewer comments about how Mr Cameron came across
Alan MacDougall wrote: ‘Inside Europe exposes that at every important moment over the last 10 yrs Cameron has made fatal political mistakes.’
Others were equally scathing, with James Stark writing: ‘Watching Inside Europe on @BBCTwo every minute makes Danny Dyer’s views on David Cameron seem more and more apposite.’
Samanthab1970 said: ‘It is very clear that Cameron’s motivation was always and only ever about placating the Eurosceptics in his own party and absolutely nothing to do with the UK’s national interest.’
And another added: ‘I’m so glad that ‘Inside Europe is reminding people of the reason we are in the mess we’re in – because of the arrogance and weakness of @David_Cameron and those in his close circle.
‘An appalling lack of judgement and backbone that he should never be forgiven for. #InsideEurope.’
It comes as recently filed accounts revealed Mr Cameron’s new company has amassed nearly £800,000 after he quit as prime minister.
They show Cameron has amassed £790,000 in The Office of David Cameron Limited of which nearly £630,000 is held in cash at the bank.
The figures cover the period from the beginning of November 2016, soon after he quit as MP to the end of April last year.
The company had assets of more than £1 million, but owed creditors around £210,000 so was left with the profit.
A common refrain among viewers commenting on Twitter was that Mr Cameron appeared ‘arrogant’ and ‘reckless’ over his handling of the issue
The bulk of the money owed was tax and social security costs of £191,000, the accounts stated.
The limited accounts do not give details of any salary or dividend payments made to Cameron, who owns all the company’s shares.
Laurence Mann, Cameron’s former political private secretary between 2010 and July 2016, when he stepped down as PM, is the company’s only director.
Mann is one of the company’s five employees, according to the paperwork.
Since quitting as PM and stepping down as MP for Witney in the aftermath of the June 2016 referendum Cameron has taken up a number of lucrative posts.
But because he left Parliament he did not have to reveal this work in the register of MPs’ financial interests.
He is understood to work for the US electronics payments firm First Data Corporation, working two or three days a month, he is also leading a billion-dollar investment initiative agreed between the UK and China.
Initially he was thought to be concentrating on writing his memoirs and taking up a number of voluntary jobs, including posts as president of Alzheimer’s Research Uk and chair of the National Citizen Service.
But he also earned money from a series of speeches, reportedly getting up to £120,000 for addresses booked by Washington Speakers Bureau.