South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland told TV viewers that former Prime Minister Liz Truss is not the woman that he switched to support for the leadership of the Conservative Party and the country.

And he also disagreed with her about former UKIP and Brexit party leader Nigel Farage, saying he didn’t think he should be welcomed into the Conservatives.

Sir Robert appeared on the Peston show on ITV along with Rebecca Long-Bailey of the Labour Party and Stephen Flynn of the SNP as a panel discussing current political events, and in particular Mr Peston’s long interview with former PM Ms Truss.

She is promoting her part memoir, part manifesto 10 Years to Save the West- an account of her  49 days at 10 Downing Street.

When she and the current PM Rishi Sunak were campaigning for the votes of party members to succeed Boris Johnson in the top job,  Mr Buckland, then the Secretary of State for Wales, switched his support from Mr Sunak to Ms Truss.

It meant he kept his cabinet position during her administration – but it was short-lived and when Mr Sunak took over he returned to the back benches.

On Peston he said: ”The Liz Truss I’m seeing and hearing now, frankly, isn’t the person I know and supported when she was bidding to be the leader.

“She was a pragmatist – let’s not forget she campaigned with us to remain in the EU; she did the deal with Iran on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe [as Foreign Secretary], she was a pragmatist who understood politics.”

Now, Mr Buckland suggested, Ms Truss is presenting herself as much more of a hardliner: “What I’m seeing now is an ideologue who wants to disrupt.

“It might sell books but I really don’t think it’s the person I was dealing with a few years ago.”

During her interview with Mr Peston, Ms Truss indicated she would be happy if former UKIP and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage joined the Conservative Party.

But Sir Robert aligned himself with grandee Kenneth Clarke who has said he would not stay in the party if Mr Farage joined.

He said: ”Nigel Farage is not a Conservative. He’s not a Tory and he’s never said he wants to join the Tory party.

“I’m with Ken Clarke on this, that’s not Toryism – it’s populism, and it’s not what I regard as true Conservativism.”