FORMER Tory minister Edwina Currie has suggested that Boris Johnson should not be the next leader of the Conservative Party because he is a man “without principle”.

Speaking on RT’s Alex Salmond Show, Currie said the next leader should be someone as strong as Margaret Thatcher but “as principled” as Thatcher.

“Boris doesn’t cut it for me,” she said, “because there is one thing you can be pretty sure of, is that he’s a man without principle.

“He’s a member of a party of one, and he wants to be Prime Minister. “

She also had a poor opinion of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson: “He knows less about defence than I do.”

In a wide ranging interview about her often controversial life and career, Currie spoke of her hopes for the UK outside the European Union.

She said: “March 29 we are officially out of the EU and I don’t think there is any going back on that. I am hopeful, I am optimistic that the trade deals we do with the rest of the world will be very very successful.

“Europe itself has turned out to be quite protectionist. You have free trade within the 400 million of Europe but you haven’t got much in the way of free trade with the outside world.”

Currie, 71, also told Salmond of her current concerns about the “image” of an ageing population.

She said the image of retired people as holding onto their assets and occupying NHS beds is “simply not fair,” adding “I will stick up for older people like myself. and enjoy doing it.”