Liz Truss warned ‘the game is up’ as Tory MPs call for her to resign

Liz Truss‘s hope to stay in Downing Street has been dealt a heavy blow after Conservative MPs made public their demands for her resignation for the first time.

Senior Tory Crispin Blunt was the first MP to break cover and publicly call for Ms Truss to go, but a host of others openly questioned her ability to stay in post.

Tory grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind told The independent it was “in the national interest” for MPs to call for her resignation, while MP Andrew Bridgen also called for her to step down, saying: “We can’t go on like this. Our country, its people and our party deserve better”.

Jamie Wallis, Tory MP for Bridgend & Porthcawl, announced that he had “written to the Prime Minister to ask her to resign as she no longer has the confidence of this country”.

The race to replace Mrs Truss intensified as it emerged that allies of the Defense Secretary, Ben Wallacehas sought support among MPs for a takeover.

The new 2019 intake of Tory MPs was also accused of allowing the Prime Minister to cling to power amid accusations that they were “rabbits in the headlights”, too scared to take action against her.

Behind the scenes, groups of Tory MPs and grandees are expected to meet this week to discuss ways to remove Mrs Truss from No 10.

MPs are also believed to have sent letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. Technically, Mrs Truss has a one-year grace period, but the 1922 committee threatened to change the same rules in 2019, effectively securing Theresa May’s departure from No 10.

A senior MP told The independent: “She cannot lead us to the next election, everyone knows that, it’s just whether she goes for the short or long term”.

Another said of the 2019 intake, which makes up almost a third of Tory MPs: “There are so many of them it will take a step in the 2019s [to oust her]. But many of them are not there yet. They are terrified, they are like rabbits in the headlights.”

The moves to oust Mrs Truss come as she spent the day in crisis talks with her new chancellor Jeremy Hunt at Checkers in an attempt to restore financial credibility before markets reopen on Monday.

Hunt has pleaded with her party’s MPs not to oust her from No 10, warning voters would not thank the party for further instability.

Jeremy Hunt leaves Checkers after Budget talks with Liz Truss

(ON)

Days after she fired her first choice as chancellor, Quasi QuartengHunt insisted her change in tactics went deeper than politics and personnel.

“She has listened, she has changed,” he told the BBC.

But within hours Mr Blunt had told Channel 4’s The Andrew Neil Show that the prime minister should go.

“I think the game is up and it’s now a question of how the legacy is managed,” he said.

He also called for her to be replaced by a management team that included Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Mr. Hunt.

Asked how his party would get rid of her, he said: “Exactly how it is done and exactly under what mechanism [remains unclear] … but it will happen.”

This was told by Mr. Rifkind, who was foreign minister under Margaret Thatcher The independent that Tory MPs should make up their minds about the leadership, and quickly.

“Conservative MPs must decide to either support Truss or demand her resignation. I think the latter would be in the national interest. Once a new Prime Minister is elected, he or she must get the economy back on an even keel.”

Another senior Tory MP, former minister Mark Garnier, said Ms Truss was “in office but not in power”.

And former chief whip Andrew Mitchell, an ally of Mr. Hunt, told the BBC’s The world this weekend: “We will have to see what happens in the next few days. If she can’t do the job … I’m afraid she’ll leave.”

Asked if she can stay in No 10, Alicia Kearns, the new chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told Times Radio: “It’s difficult”.

Earlier on Sunday, fellow Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling for her to step down but, in a dramatic attack on his own government, accused Ms Truss of looking like a “libertarian jihadist” who was “treating the whole country like some sort of laboratory mouse on which to conduct ultra, ultra free market experiments”.

He demanded an apology and a “dramatic reset” in the next few days.

The prime minister has also faced calls for a reshuffle, days after she sacked her chancellor in a bid to save her premiership.

Mrs Truss has come under fire for sacking ministers who backed her opponent Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership contest.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock led the calls for a reshuffle, saying Ms Truss needed to bring the breadth of the Conservative Party “into her government”.

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