Rebels on the backbenches of the UK’s governing Conservative Party are on Friday said to be plotting to replace Liz Truss as party leader and prime minister with a so-called “unity” joint ticket team involving former leadership rival Rishi Sunak.
It comes as a YouGov poll for the ‘The Times’ found that almost half of Tory party supporters believe the party chose the wrong candidate in the leadership election. The YouGov poll found that among those who voted for the Conservatives at the last election, 62 per cent said that party members had made the wrong choice when the race was shortlisted between Truss and Sunak, compared with 15 per cent who said they had got it right.
It has led panicked Tory members of Parliament to start considering alternatives in the candidates who secured the most votes within the parliamentary party – the British Indian former Chancellor, who was the frontrunner with his colleagues, and Leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt, who came in third.
The government, meanwhile, is reeling from the impact of the controversial mini-budget at the end of last month, with UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng flying back from an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington a day earlier than planned.
While further U-turns on the tax-cutting plans are expected following crunch meetings at 10 Downing Street, the Tory backbenchers are said to be weighing up the prospect of changing the party leader yet again.
Given that Truss technically cannot face a leadership challenge unless until 12 months unless the powerful 1922 Committee of backbench MPs vote to change their rules, MPs are said to be considering the possibility of rallying behind a joint team of Sunak and Mordaunt where the former is the Prime Minister and the latter his Deputy.
Another option is for Mordaunt to take over as party leader and Prime Minister and Sunak as Chancellor, given his track record in office at the Treasury and that he had warned of much of the turmoil that has since unleashed under Truss.
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