The former cabinet minister has stood by his shocking comments that a hard-Left Labour government would be less damaging to the UK than the “long-term disaster” of Brexit.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Lord Heseltine said: “What I said was that I’d noticed a number of my friends who are saying to me that given a choice, an awful choice, between a Corbyn government and Brexit, the reason why they’re thinking of voting for Corbyn is because that’s a short term pain.
“The Tories will come back, they’ll clear up the mess.”
Lord Heseltine added that Conservative voters he knew had said they may be forced to back Jeremy Corbyn to stop Brexit.
GETTYBrexit news: Lord Heseltine backed Jeremy Corbyn to lead Britain instead of Brexit
The reason why they’re thinking of voting for Corbyn is because that’s a short term pain
He said: “Brexit is a long-term disaster and that’s why Conservative voters that I know are saying to me that they may be forced into this decision.”
Lord Heseltine, who was deputy prime minister in John Major's Tory government in the 1990s, made the original comments earlier this week in an interview for The Limehouse Podcast, an online political news channel that usually features Lib Dem politicians.
Asked what could happen under five years of a Corbyn government, he said: “Well, we have survived Labour governments before.
"Their damage tends to be short-term and capable of rectification. Brexit is not short-term and is not easily capable of rectification.”
The former cabinet minister also said he will continue arguing against Brexit even if his Conservative whip is removed.
Lord Heseltine was asked by Kate Garraway if he would be happy if his Conservative whip was removed following shocking comments he made that a hard-Left Labour government would be less damaging to the UK than the “long-term disaster” of Brexit.
He said: “I would be immensely disappointed but it wouldn’t make any difference I would go on arguing as a Conservative.
“There’s no question that I would abandon the Conservative party, they may abandon me, just as they’ve abandoned the view of every Conservative Prime Minister I’ve ever worked for.
His comments sparked fury, with a leading Conservative think tank calling for the Conservative whip to be withdrawn from the veteran Brussels supporter for his outburst.
The Right-of-centre Bow Group, which has developed policy ideas for the Conservative Party of more than 66 years, described his remarks as "sabotage".
Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said: "Heseltine has made clear it is his aim to prevent Brexit at all costs, including the sabotage of his own Party and nation, the Conservative Party must therefore withdraw the whip and end the inevitable continuation of his sniping from inside the tent."
He added: "The Brexit negotiations cannot be lead by a Conservative Government that allows outright sabotage to go unaddressed within its own ranks.”