Conservative grandee Lord Michael Heseltine has revealed that he had "no relationship" with Number 10 since Theresa May was appointed prime minister in September 2016 and that he has never met the Tory leader.
Heseltine, a former deputy prime minister, made the comments just a day after he was sacked as a government adviser on Tuesday (7 March).
The 83-year-old had rebelled against May and voted in the House of Lords for a "meaningful vote" for parliament on the final Brexit deal.
"I've had no relationship with Number 10 since the new prime minister, but I'm not complaining. I was getting on with the job that I was doing," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"I've never met Theresa May so I can't make a judgement. She's doing very well in the [opinion polls], public opinion approves of what she's doing so I'm not going to get involved in a tic-tac of personalities."
He added: "My preoccupation has been from the very beginning that I believe that the referendum result is the most disastrous peace-time result that we've seen in the country. Since the referendum I hope I've been meticulous in not talking to the press, they've been on to me all the time from all over the world.
"I've said: 'Look, no, I'm not doing it'. I felt that I wasn't in the business of trying to continue a running battle. Brexit now means negotiating our severance with Europe, that I have accepted. But the point comes in life that when you have to do what you believe to be right.
"Saying that somehow or other that parliament couldn't have enshrined in the statue a commitment to involve parliament, the sovereign body of our country, was too much for me."
Heseltine was the architect behind George Osborne's and David Cameron's devolution plans with his 2012 No Stone Unturned report. But the peer, who unsuccessfully challenged Margaret Thatcher for the Conservative leadership in 1990, seems to have lost favour under May's administration.
The prime minister has promised to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and trigger Brexit talks by the end of March.
But the plan could be derailed as the House of Commons votes on two amendments to the Article 50 bill – to hold a "meaningful vote" and to unilaterally guarantee the residency rights of the more than three million EU nationals in the UK.
UPDATE: 11:30 GMT, 8 March.
A Number 10 spokesperson said May has met with Heseltine.
- Government will provide certainty and clarity to politicians and businesses.
- UK will 'control our own laws' by quitting the European Court of Justice.
- May will strengthen the 'precious union' between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
- There will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- UK will 'control' EU immigration, while recruiting the 'brightest and the best' from around the world.
- Government will seek a reciprocal residency rights deal for EU and UK workers 'as soon as possible'.
- May has promised to protect workers' rights.
- Ministers will seek a 'bold' and 'comprehensive' free trade agreement with the EU.
- UK will seek a customs agreement so that it can broker its own trade deals with non-EU nations.
- May will keep European science and innovation ties in bid to keep the UK a 'world leader'.
- UK will continue to work with the EU in bid a bid to combat the threat of terrorism.
- Ministers will seek to avoid a 'cliff edge' and seek a smooth split from the EU.