Leading members of the UK Conservative Party are discussing the possibility of replacing the current prime minister, Liz Truss, with a joint candidacy of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.
Just over a month after Truss came to power, when she became the fourth Conservative leader in six years, the British leader is under pressure from senior members of her party, who are reportedly planning a replacement, as speculation grows that her days are numbered, according to ‘The Times’ newspaper.
Party members predict that a pact between Sunak — who lost to Truss in the internal vote — and Mordaunt — who emerged third in the leadership contest — would have the support of the “overwhelming majority of Conservative MPs,” the paper reports.
Sources consulted by the British media have assured that more than a score of former ministers and senior MPs are planning to tell Truss to resign. “Talks are intensifying,” said a former minister on condition of anonymity.
Polling by YouGov for ‘The Times’ shows that nearly half of those who voted Conservative in the last election want the party’s MPs to oust Truss. Sixty-two percent indicate that party members made the wrong decision in voting for the leader, while 43 percent want the party to install a new prime minister.
Another MP has pointed out that supporters of Sunak, Mordaunt and Truss have to figure out which way to govern. “Rishi’s people, Penny’s people and sensible Truss supporters who realize she is a disaster need to sit down and figure out which is the unity candidate.”
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Thursday warned of the “disastrous” consequences of replacing Truss in office, which he called “a bad idea, not just politically, but economically as well.”
“This is the most important thing in the budget, Truss said he would protect people and businesses in the face of unprecedented energy price increases. That’s what he’s doing,” Cleverly said, in a new attempt to defend the controversial economic policy promised by the government, which plans to lower taxes without cutting public spending.
However, the Government has vowed there will be no further changes to budget policy after the Downing Street announcements triggered a market shock and a fall in the pound.
The latest voting intention poll by YouGov shows that Labour is now some 28 percentage points behind the Conservatives. The ‘Tories’ would thus take 23 percent of the support against Labour, which would get 51 percent. For the moment, Truss has ruled out calling early elections.