Health secretary Matt Hancock has described the Brexit Party as a “protest movement”, after the party won 29 seats in the European elections last week.
The Conservative leadership contender told talkRADIO’s Alastair Stewart that Nigel Farage’s party “does not have answers” on how to break the Brexit deadlock.
“People did not vote for the Brexit Party over a pointed detail of the deal,” Mr Hancock said.
“It is a binary issue – have we left the EU or not? – we need to leave and that is the way to tackle the Brexit Party.
“The Brexit Party does not have answers. They are a protest movement.
“They do not have answers as to how we are going to improve the health service or what we do to get better education.”
The Conservative Party only won four of the 73 seats available in the European elections, after only securing nine per cent of the vote.
Mr Hancock is one of the 11 MPs putting themselves forward to be the next Conservative leader.
Others fighting for the top job include Boris Johnson, environment secretary Michael Gove and former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.
When asked whether he was “brutal enough” to go up against Mr Farage, Mr Hancock said: “I do have a different political style to Nigel Farage. I think that is a good thing.
“I essentially believe in a politics where we seek to bring people together rather than try to divide.”
The health secretary described the Brexit Party leader’s political style as “unhelpful”.
He added: “There are some people in politics that are just soundbites and language.
“There are others who are genuinely trying to fix problems. I am firmly in the camp of trying to help people make their lives better.”