Tory peer Lord Frost has revealed that he was spit on the street when he criticized the level of “aggression” and “hostility” on social media.
Boris Johnson’s former Brexit minister, who resigned last year in opposition to some of the government’s covid measures, also confirmed he is considering running as an MP.
In an interview with ConservativeHome, Frost said he found the level of public anger “striking”.
“The level of aggression, hostility on social media and beyond, has struck me quite a bit,” he said.
“I’ve seen people on the street spitting, pushing, yelling at me on trains, things like this.
“So I’m a little bit tense now about any kind of public interaction. That was a real surprise and disappointment for me.”
In his resignation letter last December, the former UK’s chief negotiator said the Prime Minister had been an “excellent leader” on Brexit, but added: “You know my concerns about the current direction of travel.
“I hope we get to where we need to be as quickly as possible: a lightly regulated, low-tax, entrepreneurial economy, at the intersection of modern science and economic change.”
Frost said one of the reasons he was considering running for parliament was to challenge Johnson over his tax policy.
He has previously criticized the government for its decision to increase national insurance by 1.25 percentage points – a move that has lifted the UK’s tax burden to its highest level in 70 years.
“The problem in many ways is that the damage has been done in the sense that we have now shown the world that we are willing to raise taxes,” he said.
“You can’t put that genie back in the bottle except with a retraction, ‘We’re doing this wrong, it was the wrong thing to do, we’re a low-tax conservative party.'”
Frost also targeted the government’s net-zero strategy, which has proven unpopular with some Tory backseats, arguing that the government was “moving too fast with technology that can’t do the job yet.”
He added: “The risk is that we end up with rationing and demand management instead of hitting the target.”