David Cameron has refused to rise to the bait after being subjected to a brutal tongue-lashing from actor Danny Dyer over his part in Brexit.
The soap star branded the politician a “twat” on live TV and accused him of “scuttling off” after plunging the country into the confusion of EU withdrawal.
But a spokesman for Mr Cameron made clear the former prime minister would not be responding in kind, saying: “That’s not something we will be commenting on.”
And Downing Street was equally restrained, noting only that “people who appear on broadcasts and in newspapers are perfectly entitled to their opinions”.
Theresa May did not see the broadcast, as she was having dinner with EU leaders at the European Council in Brussels at the time, said a spokeswoman.
The EastEnders actor turned the air blue when he tackled politics ITV’s Good Evening Britain, a one-off spin-off hosted by Good Morning Britain presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid following Thursday’s England World Cup match.
The 40-year-old laid into Mr Cameron for calling the 2016 EU referendum during a discussion with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and ex-Baywatch star Pamela Anderson.
After talking about contestants on Love Island, featuring his daughter Dani, not understanding Brexit, the 40-year-old actor turned to politics.
“Who knows about Brexit? No-one has got a f****** clue what Brexit is. You watch Question Time, it’s comedy.”
“No-one knows what it is. It’s like this mad riddle…”
He then turned his fire on Mr Cameron for calling the 2016 EU referendum in the first place, asking: “What’s happened to that twat Cameron who brought it on? Let’s be fair. How come he can scuttle off? He called all this on.
“Where is he? He’s in Europe, in Nice with his trotters up. Where is the geezer? I think he should be held accountable for it… Twat.”
Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman, who campaigned for Remain alongside Mr Cameron, agreed with Dyer’s characterisation of Brexit as a “mad riddle”.
Speaking on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, Ms Harman said: “It’s easy to laugh at his colourful language about David Cameron’s ‘trotters’ but actually he has summed it up.
“It is very worrying indeed, because it’s the cost of people’s holidays, the cost of people’s food, it’s people’s actual jobs at stake.”
Asked whether Mrs May would accept that Brexit was “a mad riddle”, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “We have always been clear that Brexit is a challenging process, but we’ve made good progress on it.
“We will be publishing a White Paper next month which will set out a bit more clearly to the public what our future plans are and what we are seeking to achieve.”
Mr Cameron himself famously used the same swear-word in a live broadcast, telling Absolute Radio host Christian O’Connell that he was not on Twitter because “too many tweets might make a twat”.
He reportedly had to be advised by one of his staff later that the word was rather more offensive that he had thought.