Boris Johnson is a “truth twisting” populist that chose to lead Leave in the UK’s 2016 EU referendum to prevent anyone else from doing so, according to former prime minister David Cameron.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Cameron says that Johnson did not want anyone else emerging as the “darling of the party,”  as the Leave campaign was “loaded with images of patriotism, independence and romance.”

Johnson “risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career,” Cameron argues, touring the country with his red bus while “leaving the truth at home,” said the former prime minister.

Above all, Johnson wanted to prevent Michael Gove from winning the party’s Eurosceptic “crown,”  Cameron argues, referring to Gove as a “disloyal” man and a “foam-flecked Faragist” who lied about Turkey joining the EU by 2020.

Cameron dismissed to both Johnson and Gove as “ambassadors for the expert-trashing, truth-twisting age of populism,” admitting that he was hugely depressed with the referendum result. However, he did not concede that calling the referendum was a mistake.

Cameron is credited with creating a less “toxic” brand of Conservatism, leading a coalition government with the Liberals that implemented a far-reaching fiscal consolidation campaign, albeit at a significant social cost.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Johnson reiterated his conviction that a last-minute deal with the EU could be reached by October 17, suggesting there was movement in Berlin, Paris and Dublin. Johnson also made clear that he does not intend to form an electoral alliance with the Brexit party ahead of the forthcoming elections, whenever they come.

Johnson expressed no regret for expelling 21 Conservative backbenchers who voted to remove “no-deal” of the table as he believes that they undermined the UK’s negotiating position.