Sajid Javid has hit out at Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson, two of his key competitors in the Conservative leadership race.
Javid, one of 11 candidates vying to become Prime Minister, said Raab’s suggestions parliament could be suspended if it blocks a no-deal Brexit were "rubbish", while attacking Johnson’s previous claim niqab-wearers resemble "letterboxes" and "bank robbers".
Asked by The Independent about the remarks, which led to the Johnson being investigated by the Conservative Party, Javid said “they’re wrong” and no “serious politician should use language like that”.
"I want to do that by a deal - that would be my absolute preference and that's what I'd work incredibly hard on…If we get to 31 October and have to choose between no deal and no Brexit, I’d choose no deal. If parliament tries to block it…I’d respond to parliament as you would expect a responsible Prime Minister to do. I wouldn't get involved - it's parliament's business what it wants to debate. But I would do everything in my power to try to leave on 31 October,” he explained.
Speaking subsequently, a source in Javid's campaign team said the Tories were picking a Prime Minister, “not a dictator”.
“He's not going to break the law - no responsible Prime Minister would break the law."
However, earlier this year a leaked Home Office document suggested the technology could not be implemented until at least 2030.
Javid also criticised the Conservatives' promise to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands - a key plank of the party's policy platform in recent years.
"I just think it's nonsense to set a target of tens of thousands that you know you can never meet,” he said.