Plot to topple Liz Truss: MPs call for Prime Minister to quit amid rumours she could go THIS WEEK 

Under-fire Liz Truss is set to meet with moderate Tory MPs this week in a bid to stave off a leadership coup, amid claims Conservative rebels are preparing to oust her as early as this week.

The embattled PM will reportedly meet with the 100-strong One Nation group of centrist Conservatives tonight in a bid to win round a sizeable chunk of the parliamentary party.

It comes as Tory MPs will try to oust Miss Truss this week, despite Downing Street warning that it could trigger a general election.

Mutinous backbench MPs are pressing Tory shop steward Sir Graham Brady to tell the Prime Minister her time is up, or change party rules to allow an immediate vote of confidence in her leadership.

As the Tories descended into yet another civil war, three MPs broke ranks to publicly call on Miss Truss to resign just six weeks into her premiership.

Former minister Crispin Blunt said: ‘The game is up and it’s now a question as to how the succession is managed.’

Sir Graham, chairman of the 1922 Committee, is said to be resisting an immediate putsch, arguing that the PM and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt deserve the chance to set out their economic strategy in a Budget on October 31.

But sources say that more than 100 MPs are ready to submit letters of no confidence in Miss Truss in a bid to force Sir Graham’s hand.

Some junior ministers are also discussing a wave of co-ordinated resignations of the kind that eventually forced out Boris Johnson. Rebels have even discussed holding a public vote of censure if Sir Graham refuses to act.

One MP involved in discussions about removing the PM said: ‘She has lost the confidence of the markets and she is haemorrhaging support. We need to cauterise the wound, and fast.

‘There is an overwhelming desire among colleagues for it to be over – people want it done this week.’

The extraordinary row came as: 

  • Mr Hunt insisted the PM was still ‘in charge’ despite forcing her to scrap her tax-cutting agenda at a Chequers summit designed to plug a £72 billion hole in the public finances; 
  • Whitehall sources said a promised 1p cut in the basic rate of income tax was likely to fall victim to the new desire to balance the books;
  • Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer demanded Miss Truss make a Commons statement today on the U-turns, saying she was ‘in office, but not in power’; 
  • Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned the PM he could withdraw his support if she ditches her pledge to increase defence spending; 
  • Miss Truss will hold a Downing Street reception for Cabinet members tonight in a bid to shore up support;  
  • Former minister Robert Halfon fired a broadside at the ‘libertarian jihadists’ around the PM, who he accused of treating the country ‘like laboratory mice’;
  • Downing Street triggered fury after briefing that Sajid Javid had been rejected for the Chancellor’s job because of his ‘s**t’ record in government; 
  • Goldman Sachs downgraded its growth forecast for the UK following the Government’s tax U-turns;
  • A former senior Cabinet minister told the Mail that the Conservative Party would ‘split’ if Miss Truss is forced out and replaced by Rishi Sunak; 
  • Cabinet allies of the PM warned plotters that triggering a contest could result in Home Secretary Suella Braverman winning and pursuing a more Right-wing agenda. 

Liz Truss has only been PM for 40 days, but rebels are already plotting her removal and are keen for her to go this week, sources say

Jeremy Hunt was appointed as the new Chancellor on Friday and has warned of higher taxes ahead

Kwasi Kwarteng was sacked as Chancellor on Friday, despite Liz Truss saying he 'made the decision' to leave

Jeremy Hunt (left) has replaced Kwasi Kwarteng (right) as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the government was forced into two u-turns over its £45billion of unfunded tax cuts

Head of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady is said to be reluctant to act now, but is being urged to do so by multiple

Head of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady is said to be reluctant to act now, but is being urged to do so by multiple

The briefing against the PM burst into the public arena yesterday, when Mr Blunt became the first Tory MP to call for her to go.

He said Miss Truss was ‘fatally damaged’ following last week’s decision to ditch her economic strategy and sack Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor in a bid to restore market confidence in the Government’s plans.

‘She has to go now as she cannot win nor sustain the confidence of her colleagues, far less the public and a relentless media,’ he said.

‘Her leadership campaign was clear and her policy proposition brave and bold. We have all seen how they have collided with today’s tough economic reality and not survived the impact.’

Fellow Tory Andrew Bridgen also called for the PM to go. Mr Bridgen, an inveterate plotter, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘We cannot carry on like this. Our country, its people and our party deserve better.’

Bridgend MP Jamie Wallis added: ‘Enough is enough.’ In a letter to the PM, he said her botched economic plan had caused ‘clear and obvious harm to the British economy’.

One senior MP who backed Miss Truss said that support was evaporating among her natural allies following the dizzying series of U-turns.

‘She has lost her nerve and she has lost her mandate,’ the former minister said.

Ben Wallace is among those that Conservative MPs are tipping to become the next Prime Minister

Ben Wallace is among those that Conservative MPs are tipping to become the next Prime Minister

Crispin Blunt became the first Conservative MP to publicly call for Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, saying her 'time is up'

Crispin Blunt became the first Conservative MP to publicly call for Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, saying her ‘time is up’

‘Raising taxes, turning our back on economic growth is a huge mistake and she has no mandate for it whatsoever – it is the exact opposite of the agenda she won on. She is in pure survival mode now.’

But an ally of the PM hit back, warning that attempts at a ‘coronation’, in which warring Tories set aside their differences to agree a new leader, were doomed to fail –and would likely collapse the Government to trigger an election, which the party stands to lose heavily.

Mr Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Mr Wallace and Mr Hunt are seen as the most likely unity candidates, but rebel MPs are divided over who should lead, while some want Mr Johnson to return.

The ally of the PM warned that attempting to oust her could spark renewed turmoil on the financial markets. And he suggested the plan was deeply undemocratic, likening it to the People’s Vote campaign to overturn the result of the Brexit referendum.

‘The whole Conservative Party owes it to the British people to focus entirely on them and their needs,’ the source said.

Under Tory party rules, a new leader cannot face a formal leadership challenge for a year, regardless of how many MPs submit letters of no confidence.

Committee treasurer Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told Sky News that the rules could be changed, but only ‘if it is clear that an overwhelming majority of the party wish us to do so’ – something he said was ‘a long way off’.

Sir Graham arrived back in the UK last night after a week in Greece and is expected to spend today taking soundings on Miss Truss’s future.

Meanwhile, Miss Truss will address the 100-strong One Nation caucus this evening in an effort to win round MPs, according to The Times. According to the paper, many of the group, chaired by Damian Green, feel excluded from a Government packed with her supporters.

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell, who backed Mr Hunt in the leadership contest, told the BBC: ‘The Conservative Parliamentary Party has always shown itself clear, and indeed ruthless, in making changes if required.

‘If the Prime Minister proves unable to govern effectively, she will have to stand down, and the parliamentary party will make that clear. But we should all be trying to help her to succeed and to get it right.’

Some Truss loyalists last night urged the rebels to calm down. Tory MP Michael Fabricant said: ‘The electorate do not vote for turbulent and divided political parties.

‘If some of my colleagues don’t calm down, stop plotting, and respect the will of the party members, we will lose the next general election.’

‘We cannot go on like this’: Andrew Bridgen and Jamie Wallis are latest Tory MPs to break ranks and urge Liz Truss to resign after Crispin Blunt – as backbenchers hint no-confidence rules COULD be changed earlier than thought 

By James Robinson and David Wilcock 

Three Tory MPs have today broken rank and publicly urged under-fire Prime Minister Liz Truss to resign – less than two months into her premiership.

Andrew Bridgen and Jamie Wallis today became the latest Conservative backbenchers to go public with their calls for the embattled Tory leader to go.

It comes after ex-minister Crispin Blunt today told Channel 4‘s Andrew Neil Show that he does not think the Prime Minister can survive the current crisis.

Mr Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicester, who supported Rishi Sunak’s leadership campaign, also made clear his stance today.

After savaging Ms Truss in a blog post, he told The Daily Telegraph: ‘We cannot carry on like this. Our country, its people and our party deserve better.’

And in a further blow to Ms Truss’s leadership, Jamie Wallis took to Twitter to share a letter sent to the Prime Minister.

Posting the letter, the Bridgend MP wrote: ‘In recent weeks, I have watched as the Government has undermined Britain’s economic credibility and fractured our Party irreparably.

‘Enough is enough. I have written to the Prime Minister to ask her to stand down as she no longer holds the confidence of this country.’

While many Tories have said that the PM is on her way out behind the scene, the three MPs are the first to publicly say her days are numbered – despite Ms Truss axing chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in a bit to keep hold of power.

It comes amid reports that as many as 100 Conservative backbenchers may have written no-confidence letters demanding a vote on whether to depose Ms Truss.

 Supporters believe the Prime Minister cannot be challenged due to party rules which mean there cannot be another leadership vote for another 12 months.

But in a further blow, the treasurer of the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers suggested a vote could still be held, if the committee’s top table believed there was an overwhelming demand for one.

He told the BBC: ‘Of course we have the power to change the rules.’

Andrew Bridgen (pictured) and Jamie Wallis today became the latest Conservative backbenchers to go public with their calls for the embattled Tory leader to go

Andrew Bridgen (pictured) and Jamie Wallis today became the latest Conservative backbenchers to go public with their calls for the embattled Tory leader to go

This evening, Jamie Wallis (pictured) took to Twitter to share a letter sent to the Prime Minister, with the post: 'In recent weeks, I have watched as the Government has undermined Britain¿s economic credibility & fractured our Party irreparably.'

This evening, Jamie Wallis (pictured) took to Twitter to share a letter sent to the Prime Minister, with the post: ‘In recent weeks, I have watched as the Government has undermined Britain’s economic credibility & fractured our Party irreparably.’

Former minister Crispin Blunt told Channel 4's Andrew Neil Show that he does not think the Prime Minister can survive the current crisis.

Former minister Crispin Blunt told Channel 4’s Andrew Neil Show that he does not think the Prime Minister can survive the current crisis.

Later, Bridgend MP, Mr Wallis, became the latest MP to call on Ms Truss (pictured earlier this month) to go. In a letter sent to the PM, he criticised the 'very basic and avoidable errors in your approach'.

Later, Bridgend MP, Mr Wallis, became the latest MP to call on Ms Truss (pictured earlier this month) to go. In a letter sent to the PM, he criticised the ‘very basic and avoidable errors in your approach’.

Meanwhile, Mr Blunt – who is quitting the Commons at the next election – told Channel 4’s Andrew Neil Show that he does not think the Prime Minister can survive the current crisis.

‘I think the game is up and it’s now a question as to how the succession is managed,’ he said.

Asked how the party will get rid of her, he said: ‘If there is such a weight of opinion in the parliamentary party that we have to have a change, then it will be effected.

‘Exactly how it is done and exactly under what mechanism… but it will happen.’

Later, Bridgend MP, Mr Wallis, became the latest MP to call on Ms Truss to go. In a letter sent to the PM, he criticised the ‘very basic and avoidable errors in your approach’. 

The letter, shared on Twitter, read: ‘Your decision to appoint historical supporters of you personally rather than the most qualified politicians available in the party has led to decisions that have done clear and obvious harm to the British economy. 

The MP, who came out as transgender earlier this year, said the leadership contest was a ‘particularly difficult time’. 

‘Watching senior colleagues exploit the issue of transgender rights and weaponise it in order to score cheap political points was extremely unpleasant.’

He goes on: ‘You chose not to challenge this behaviour and have now chosen to have those same colleagues sit alongside you in your government. 

‘Mistakes can be undone, and as one united team I believe we could achieve almost anything. However, whilst you are our leader, I no longer believe this is possible.’ 

It comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury became the latest critic of Ms Truss’s mini-Budget.

Speaking on a tour of Australia Justin Welby said plans to cut taxes for the rich and rely on trickle down economics were ‘immoral’.

Mr Welby clashed with the Government of previous PM Boris Johnson on a range of issues and he again spoke out while Down Under.

He told the Guardian he could see no ‘moral case’ for a budget that disproportionately hit the poorest, adding: ‘I’m not going to make a party political point because both parties are deeply divided and I’m not going to talk about Australia because I just don’t know the situation. But in the UK, the priority is the cost of living, with the poorest.

‘And from an economics point of view, I’m deeply sceptical about trickle-down theory. 

‘You know, if you cut money for the rich, ever since Keynes wrote his general theory in 1936, whenever it was, he showed very clearly that the rich save if they’ve got enough to live on. 

‘So if you want to generate spending in the economy, you put more money into the hands of those who need the money to buy food, to buy goods, to buy basic necessities.’

The intervention by the Reigate MP - who is himself quitting the Commons at the next election - came as the Archbishop of Canterbury became the latest critic of her mini-Budget.

The intervention by the Reigate MP – who is himself quitting the Commons at the next election – came as the Archbishop of Canterbury became the latest critic of her mini-Budget.

Speaking on a tour of Australia Justin Welby said plans to cut taxes for the rich and rely on trickle down economics were 'immoral'.

Speaking on a tour of Australia Justin Welby said plans to cut taxes for the rich and rely on trickle down economics were ‘immoral’.

It came as new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt insisted Liz Truss remains ‘in charge’ of the Government today as he prepared to meet the Prime Minister hours after binning her new economic plan. 

The new Chancellor will hold a summit with the PM at her Chequers country retreat after denying he was leading a ‘silent coup’ and warning of major public spending cuts and tax rises to come. 

Amid claims that Tories are still plotting to replace the Prime Minister, Mr Hunt is expected to follow up her Friday climbdown on increasing Corporation Tax by axing the mini-Budget’s plan to cut the basic rate of income tax by 1p to 19p.

Within a day of taking the keys to No11 the new chancellor’s actions –  not denied in a media round today –  mean none of the three main strands of the ‘Trussonomics’ package from just three weeks ago remains. 

As well as Friday’s Corporation tax reversal – it will now rise from 19 per cent to 25 per cent – the decision to axe the 45p income tax rate for the highest earners was embarrassingly reversed during the Conservative Party Conference. 

There are also suggestions that he may also renege on plans to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP. 

Appearing on BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Hunt said he wants to keep as many of Liz Truss’s tax cuts as he can but all options remain open.

Telling Sunday with Luara Kuenssberg that ‘the Prime Minister’s in charge’, he said: ‘We’re going to have to take some very difficult decisions both on spending and on tax. Spending is not going to increase by as much as people hoped … taxes are not going to go down as quickly as people thought and some taxes are going to go up,’ he said. 

And he also said no Government department would be immune from ‘efficiency savings’, as he signalled spending cuts to come.

Asked if it was a return to the austerity brought in by the 2010 coalition, he said: ‘I don’t think we are going to have anything like that this time.’  

Chequers mates? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt leaves PM’s country retreat after crisis talks with ‘in charge’ Liz Truss having undone her economic plans saying she ‘went too far, too fast’ – while he braces Britain for looming spending cuts and tax rises 

By David Wilcock, Deputy Political Editor for MailOnline

Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss met today to work out a plan to sort out the economic turmoil surrounding her premiership – after the new Chancellor binning most of her economic plan.

Mr Hunt was seen leaving talks with the Prime Minister at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire, hours after he had insisted she remains ‘in charge’ of the Government despite his warning that taxes were likely to rise and spending to fall. 

Amid claims that Tories are still plotting to replace the Prime Minister, Mr Hunt is expected to follow Friday’s climbdown which saw her agree to raise Corporation Tax by axing the mini-Budget’s plan to cut the basic rate of income tax by 1p to 19p.

Within a day of taking the keys to No11 the new Chancellor’s actions –  not denied in a media round today –  mean none of the three main strands of the ‘Trussonomics’ package from just three weeks ago remains. 

As well as Friday’s Corporation tax reversal – it will now rise from 19 per cent to 25 per cent next year – the decision to axe the 45p income tax rate for the highest earners was embarrassingly reversed during the Conservative Party Conference. 

There are also suggestions that he Mr Hunt could also renege on plans to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP, setting up a showdown with Defence Secretary and possible caretaker PM Ben Wallace.

Appearing on BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Hunt said he wants to keep as many of Liz Truss’s tax cuts as he can but all options remain open.

Telling Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg that ‘the Prime Minister’s in charge’, he said: ‘We’re going to have to take some very difficult decisions both on spending and on tax. Spending is not going to increase by as much as people hoped … taxes are not going to go down as quickly as people thought and some taxes are going to go up,’ he said. 

And he also said no Government department would be immune from ‘efficiency savings’, as he signalled spending cuts to come.

Asked if it was a return to the austerity brought in by the 2010 coalition, he said: ‘I don’t think we are going to have anything like that this time.’  

Mr Hunt was seen leaving talks with the Prime Minister at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire, hours after he had insisted she remains 'in charge' of the Government despite his warning that taxes were likely to rise and spending to fall.

Mr Hunt was seen leaving talks with the Prime Minister at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire, hours after he had insisted she remains ‘in charge’ of the Government despite his warning that taxes were likely to rise and spending to fall.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling on Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, but launched an extraordinary attack on her Government as he called for a 'dramatic reset' over the coming days.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling on Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, but launched an extraordinary attack on her Government as he called for a ‘dramatic reset’ over the coming days.

New Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has warned Britons of ‘very difficult decisions’ ahead as he attempts to restore trust in the Tories and balance the books

Reports today suggest Ben Wallace, the respected Defence Secretary, is being lined up as a possible PM, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor.

Reports today suggest Ben Wallace, the respected Defence Secretary, is being lined up as a possible PM, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor.

Wallace v Sunak: Rebels urge Defence Secretary to stand for leader

When Ben Wallace pulled out of the Conservative leadership contest in July, he had already built a campaign team and secured the support of more than 25 MPs. But strains in his domestic life led him to conclude that the pressures of the job would have too great an impact on his family.

But friends say the Defence Secretary has now become much less categoric’ about not running, after being approached by colleagues to stand in any possible contest.

Mr Wallace, who regularly tops the rankings among Tory party members, is ‘rethinking’ his position because he believes that Rishi Sunak, the favourite to succeed Liz Truss, ‘cannot unite the party’.

‘Most of us now favour a coronation for Ben. He’s the best we’ve got,’ one plotter told the Sunday Mirror.

‘But he might need some persuading to take the job. And getting Rishi back would calm the bond markets and strengthen the pound.’

Mr Wallace’s potential change of heart comes as leaders of mutinous backbenchers told The Mail on Sunday that more than 100 Tory MPs are prepared to write to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, submitting a motion of no confidence in Ms Truss.

Sir Graham is under pressure to change the rule which stops a leader being challenged for a year after their election – or risk being ousted as chairman.

The rebels, led by former Ministers Gavin Williamson, Grant Shapps and Julian Smith, are aiming for 125 names. Any contest is likely to be restricted to MPs because another vote by party members would take too long.

Ms Truss tried to save her faltering Premiership on Friday by sacking Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, following weeks of economic turmoil in the wake of the tax-cutting mini-budget he unveiled in September.

But Mr Kwarteng’s replacement, Jeremy Hunt, was accused of mounting a ‘silent coup’ yesterday after effectively ripping up Ms Truss’s policy platform by saying taxes will have to rise and ‘efficiencies’ would be needed in an effort to balance the books.

 

The Chancellor, who spent Saturday also meeting with Treasury officials, had earlier insisted that he and the Prime Minister were a ‘team’ – but said she and sacked former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng went ‘too far, too fast’ with their mini-Budget.

Some MPs backed the PM to go on today, saying a change in policy was needed more than a change in leader. But other suggested Hunt’s appointment and decisions could be the final nail in the coffin for Ms Truss’s short period in power.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling on Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, but launched an extraordinary attack on her Government as he called for a ‘dramatic reset’ over the coming days.

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Halfon said: ‘I worry that over the past few weeks, the Government has looked like libertarian jihadists and treated the whole country as kind of laboratory mice on which to carry out ultra, ultra free market experiments. 

‘And this is not where the country is. There’s been one horror story after another.’

Asked if Ms Truss should lead his party into the next election, he said: ‘At this time, I’m not calling for the Prime Minister to go. I worry about further political instability, but even more economic instability. But things have to improve.

‘Because if things don’t change, I just think that perhaps things may not be able to carry on in the way that they have been.’

Urging a ‘dramatic reset’, he said the Government needs to apologise for the chaos of recent weeks.

But another senior Tory MP who backed Truss said: ‘Appointing him (Hunt) is like putting up the white flag outside the door.

‘She’s swapped the job of Prime Minister for Foreign Secretary because that’s the only thing she’ll have any authority over.

‘Members will think, ”We voted for tax cuts. Now we’ve got tax rises and austerity.” What is the point of Liz Truss if her policies are reversed? It’s not like she’s a good communicator.’

Mr Hunt is expected to delay the 1p income tax cut by 12 months in a bid to save the Treasury £5 billion a year. The plan to reduce the basic rate of income tax from 20 per cent to 19 per cent was due to roll out in April next year and will save 31 million taxpayers up to £360 annually. 

Asked about his designs on the top job, he told the BBC today: ‘I think having run two leadership campaigns, and by the way failed in both of them, the desire to be leader has been clinically excised from me.

‘I want to be a good Chancellor. It’s going to be very, very difficult. But that’s what I’m focusing on.’

Reports today suggest Ben Wallace, the respected Defence Secretary, is being lined up as a possible PM, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor. 

Mr Hunt – a former leadership contender who backed Rishi Sunak after failing to make the ballot – is now the most powerful figure in Government following his appointment on Friday.

Joe Biden sticks the boot into Truss economic plan 

Joe Biden has appeared to join in the chorus of criticism against Prime Minister Liz Truss and the disastrous start to her leadership during a visit to an ice cream parlour.

The President of the United States said on Saturday he, like so many others, was shocked by the mini-budget and her overall economic vision.

‘I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a mistake,’ he told reporters, adding the subsequent outcome was ‘predictable’.

When asked about Ms Truss’s original economic strategy, President Biden said he disagreed with the plan.

But he acknowledged it was not his place to comment, instead saying it was up to the British people to come to their own conclusions.

Mr Biden also dismissed concerns about the strength of the dollar. He said: ‘The problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries.’

The pair have famously had their differences over the course of their time in public office.

Last year, the PM told a fringe event at the Tory conference the relationship between the UK and US was ‘special but not exclusive’, adding Britain should not be ‘worried like some teenage girl at a party if we’re not considered to be good enough’.

 

With Ms Truss too weak to sack him, he said he had been given a ‘clean slate’ on which to draw up a new fiscal statement to reassure the market by the end of the month.

In a statement released late on Saturday, he said: ‘My focus is on growth underpinned by stability. The drive on growing the economy is right – it means more people can get good jobs, new businesses can thrive and we can secure world class public services. But we went too far, too fast.

‘We have to be honest with people and we are going to have to take some very difficult decisions both on spending and on tax to get debt falling, but at the top of our minds when making these decisions will be how to protect and help struggling families, businesses and people.

‘I will set out clear and robust plans to make sure Government spending is as efficient as possible, ensure taxpayer money is well spent and that we have rigorous control over our public finances.’

There are suggestions the economic outlook is far more dire than Mr Hunt predicted. Even after U-turns already made on corporation tax and income tax, the Treasury is still likely to have a shortfall worth up to £52 billion.

Mr Hunt is expected to pour over Mr Kwarteng’s fiscal statement in an attempt to find further ways to claw back money ahead of delivering a ‘proper budget’ on October 31.  

Conservative MPs have described Ms Truss as being in office but not in power, noting the opposing viewpoints she and Mr Hunt have so publicly held.

Mr Hunt ran for the Conservative leadership this summer on a platform of slashing corporation tax to 15 per cent to boost growth.

A former Tory Minister said: ‘What’s the point of Liz Truss if she’s implementing an agenda cooked up by Jeremy that she doesn’t agree with?’ 

As Chancellor, he will now enact Mr Sunak’s plan to increase corporation tax from 19 to 25 per cent in April after Ms Truss U-turned on her reversal of the policy.

Mr Hunt also previously opposed cuts to personal levies such as National Insurance and Income Tax – moves which Ms Truss has not so far rowed back on.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith, who supported Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, has admitted the Government made errors with those proposals.

Tory MP and former Health Minister Steve Brine said Ms Truss should now be seen as the chairman, while Mr Hunt is chief executive

Tory MP and former Health Minister Steve Brine said Ms Truss should now be seen as the chairman, while Mr Hunt is chief executive

Mr Hunt is expected to pour over Mr Kwarteng's fiscal statement in an attempt to find further ways to claw back money ahead of delivering a 'proper budget' on October 31

Mr Hunt is expected to pour over Mr Kwarteng’s fiscal statement in an attempt to find further ways to claw back money ahead of delivering a ‘proper budget’ on October 31

‘The game is up’: Tory MP Crispin Blunt says Liz Truss is finished 

A Tory MP went over the top and publicly declared that the ‘game is up’ for Liz Truss and it is now a question of how, not if, she is replaced at Prime Minister.

Former minister Crispin Blunt told Channel 4‘s Andrew Neil Show that he does not think the Prime Minister can survive the current crisis.

While many Tories have said that the PM is on her way out behind the scenes he is the first to publicly say her days are numbered, despite axing chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in a bit to keep hold of power.

The intervention by the Reigate MP – who is himself quitting the Commons at the next election – came as the Archbishop of Canterbury became the latest critic of her mini-Budget.

Speaking on a tour of Australia Justin Welby said plans to cut taxes for the rich and rely on trickle down economics were ‘immoral’.

Mr Blunt told Channel 4’s Andrew Neil Show that he does not think the Prime Minister can survive the current crisis.

‘I think the game is up and it’s now a question as to how the succession is managed,’ he said.

Asked how the party will get rid of her, he said: ‘If there is such a weight of opinion in the parliamentary party that we have to have a change, then it will be effected.

‘Exactly how it is done and exactly under what mechanism… but it will happen.’

 

Asked if the Prime Minister’s position is safe, he told Sky News: ‘Liz Truss has got the support of the Government – it’s really important at this time that we have stability.’

On whether they had got decisions wrong, Mr Griffith said: ‘Yeah for sure there’s things that everybody in Government would regret last week, and that’s why the Government has made changes.’

He then argued that the Government had got it right on the energy price guarantee and the focus on economic growth.

But pressed on exactly what ministers got wrong, he said: ‘The rate at which you could proceed and as the Chancellor said yesterday, not involving the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) in those conversations.

‘I think it was well meant to act as quickly as possible but obviously that has caused some of the turbulence.’

It came after Tory MP and former Health Minister Steve Brine said Ms Truss should now be seen as the chairman, while Mr Hunt is chief executive.

The Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Mr Hunt has unsettled many of those on the Tory Right who backed her pledge to reduce taxes.

Thatcherite Tory MP John Redwood offered an early warning to the new Chancellor, tweeting: ‘You cannot tax your way to higher growth.

‘If you tax too much you end up borrowing more as you have a worse slowdown.’

But most in the party described Mr Hunt as a ‘safe pair of hands’ and said his interviews yesterday morning were ‘self-assured’.

The Labour Party is looking to capitalise on the Government crisis with a series of new adverts as it gears up for the next general election.

They attack the Conservatives for damaging the UK’s standing on the world stage, hiking mortgages and crashing the economy.

It comes after a disastrous week for Prime Minister Liz Truss, whose authority has been left severely damaged by her decision to sack chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and U-turn on planned tax cuts.

The new posters, first reported by the Sun, have been drawn up by Labour’s advertising agency Lucky Generals.

One accuses the Government of leaving ‘Britain’s reputation in tatters’ alongside a picture of a shredded Union Jack.

Another has the slogan: ‘Your mortgage is going through the roof’ incorporated into an image of a massive hole in a roof.

A third poster shows Ms Truss and the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt dressed up as clowns, alongside the message: ‘Send off the clowns.’

The Prime Minister and Mr Kwarteng’s heads have also been photoshopped onto dummies in a fourth poster, which says: ‘These dummies have crashed the economy.’

A Labour source told the PA news agency: ‘As the old saying goes, if you don’t laugh, you cry.

‘The fact the Tories have crashed the economy is deadly serious. Just look at the way the Tories have pushed up mortgage rates.’ 

 

Jeremy Hunt insists ‘the Prime Minister is in charge’ ahead of Chequers summit with Liz Truss as new Chancellor undoes PM’s economic plans and says she ‘went too far, too fast’ – with warning of spending cuts and tax rises to come 

By David Wilcock, Brittany Chain, Claire Ellicott and Glen Owen 

Jeremy Hunt insisted Liz Truss remains ‘in charge’ of the Government today as he prepared to meet the Prime Minister hours after binning her new economic plan. 

The new Chancellor will hold a summit with the PM at her Chequers country retreat after denying he was leading a ‘silent coup’ and warning of major public spending cuts and tax rises to come. 

Amid claims that Tories are still plotting to replace the Prime Minister, Mr Hunt is expected to follow up her Friday climbdown on increasing Corporation Tax by axing the mini-Budget’s plan to cut the basic rate of income tax by 1p to 19p.

Within a day of taking the keys to No11 the new chancellor’s actions –  not denied in a media round today –  mean none of the three main strands of the ‘Trussonomics’ package from just three weeks ago remains. 

As well as Friday’s Corporation tax reversal – it will now rise from 19 per cent to 25 per cent – the decision to axe the 45p income tax rate for the highest earners was embarrassingly reversed during the Conservative Party Conference. 

There are also suggestions that he may also renege on plans to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP. 

Appearing on BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Hunt said he wants to keep as many of Liz Truss’s tax cuts as he can but all options remain open.

Telling Sunday with Luara Kuenssberg that ‘the Prime Minister’s in charge’, he said: ‘We’re going to have to take some very difficult decisions both on spending and on tax. Spending is not going to increase by as much as people hoped … taxes are not going to go down as quickly as people thought and some taxes are going to go up,’ he said. 

And he also said no Government department would be immune from ‘efficiency savings’, as he signalled spending cuts to come.

Asked if it was a return to the austerity brought in by the 2010 coalition, he said: ‘I don’t think we are going to have anything like that this time.’  

The Chancellor, who spent Saturday also meeting with Treasury officials, had earlier insisted that he and the Prime Minister were a ‘team’ – but said she and sacked former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng went ‘too far, too fast’ with their mini-Budget.

Some MPs backed the PM to go on today, saying a change in policy was needed more than a change in leader. But other suggested Hunt’s appointment and decisions could be the final nail in the coffin for Ms Truss’s short period in power.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling on Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, but launched an extraordinary attack on her Government as he called for a ‘dramatic reset’ over the coming days.

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Halfon said: ‘I worry that over the past few weeks, the Government has looked like libertarian jihadists and treated the whole country as kind of laboratory mice on which to carry out ultra, ultra free market experiments. 

‘And this is not where the country is. There’s been one horror story after another.’

Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling on Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, but launched an extraordinary attack on her Government as he called for a 'dramatic reset' over the coming days.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon stopped short of calling on Liz Truss to quit as Prime Minister, but launched an extraordinary attack on her Government as he called for a ‘dramatic reset’ over the coming days.

New Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has warned Britons of ‘very difficult decisions’ ahead as he attempts to restore trust in the Tories and balance the books

Reports today suggest Ben Wallace, the respected Defence Secretary, is being lined up as a possible PM, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor.

Reports today suggest Ben Wallace, the respected Defence Secretary, is being lined up as a possible PM, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor.

Wallace v Sunak: Rebels urge Defence Secretary to stand for leader

When Ben Wallace pulled out of the Conservative leadership contest in July, he had already built a campaign team and secured the support of more than 25 MPs. But strains in his domestic life led him to conclude that the pressures of the job would have too great an impact on his family.

But friends say the Defence Secretary has now become much less categoric’ about not running, after being approached by colleagues to stand in any possible contest.

Mr Wallace, who regularly tops the rankings among Tory party members, is ‘rethinking’ his position because he believes that Rishi Sunak, the favourite to succeed Liz Truss, ‘cannot unite the party’.

‘Most of us now favour a coronation for Ben. He’s the best we’ve got,’ one plotter told the Sunday Mirror.

‘But he might need some persuading to take the job. And getting Rishi back would calm the bond markets and strengthen the pound.’

Mr Wallace’s potential change of heart comes as leaders of mutinous backbenchers told The Mail on Sunday that more than 100 Tory MPs are prepared to write to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, submitting a motion of no confidence in Ms Truss.

Sir Graham is under pressure to change the rule which stops a leader being challenged for a year after their election – or risk being ousted as chairman.

The rebels, led by former Ministers Gavin Williamson, Grant Shapps and Julian Smith, are aiming for 125 names. Any contest is likely to be restricted to MPs because another vote by party members would take too long.

Ms Truss tried to save her faltering Premiership on Friday by sacking Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, following weeks of economic turmoil in the wake of the tax-cutting mini-budget he unveiled in September.

But Mr Kwarteng’s replacement, Jeremy Hunt, was accused of mounting a ‘silent coup’ yesterday after effectively ripping up Ms Truss’s policy platform by saying taxes will have to rise and ‘efficiencies’ would be needed in an effort to balance the books.

 

Asked if Ms Truss should lead his party into the next election, he said: ‘At this time, I’m not calling for the Prime Minister to go. I worry about further political instability, but even more economic instability. But things have to improve.

‘Because if things don’t change, I just think that perhaps things may not be able to carry on in the way that they have been.’

Urging a ‘dramatic reset’, he said the Government needs to apologise for the chaos of recent weeks.

But another senior Tory MP who backed Truss said: ‘Appointing him (Hunt) is like putting up the white flag outside the door.

‘She’s swapped the job of Prime Minister for Foreign Secretary because that’s the only thing she’ll have any authority over.

‘Members will think, ”We voted for tax cuts. Now we’ve got tax rises and austerity.” What is the point of Liz Truss if her policies are reversed? It’s not like she’s a good communicator.’

Mr Hunt is expected to delay the 1p income tax cut by 12 months in a bid to save the Treasury £5 billion a year. The plan to reduce the basic rate of income tax from 20 per cent to 19 per cent was due to roll out in April next year and will save 31 million taxpayers up to £360 annually. 

Asked about his designs on the top job, he told the BBC today: ‘I think having run two leadership campaigns, and by the way failed in both of them, the desire to be leader has been clinically excised from me.

‘I want to be a good Chancellor. It’s going to be very, very difficult. But that’s what I’m focusing on.’

Reports today suggest Ben Wallace, the respected Defence Secretary, is being lined up as a possible PM, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor. 

Mr Hunt – a former leadership contender who backed Rishi Sunak after failing to make the ballot – is now the most powerful figure in Government following his appointment on Friday.

With Ms Truss too weak to sack him, he said he had been given a ‘clean slate’ on which to draw up a new fiscal statement to reassure the market by the end of the month.

In a statement released late on Saturday, he said: ‘My focus is on growth underpinned by stability. The drive on growing the economy is right – it means more people can get good jobs, new businesses can thrive and we can secure world class public services. But we went too far, too fast.

‘We have to be honest with people and we are going to have to take some very difficult decisions both on spending and on tax to get debt falling, but at the top of our minds when making these decisions will be how to protect and help struggling families, businesses and people.

‘I will set out clear and robust plans to make sure Government spending is as efficient as possible, ensure taxpayer money is well spent and that we have rigorous control over our public finances.’

Joe Biden sticks the boot into Truss economic plan 

Joe Biden has appeared to join in the chorus of criticism against Prime Minister Liz Truss and the disastrous start to her leadership during a visit to an ice cream parlour.

The President of the United States said on Saturday he, like so many others, was shocked by the mini-budget and her overall economic vision.

‘I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a mistake,’ he told reporters, adding the subsequent outcome was ‘predictable’.

When asked about Ms Truss’s original economic strategy, President Biden said he disagreed with the plan.

But he acknowledged it was not his place to comment, instead saying it was up to the British people to come to their own conclusions.

Mr Biden also dismissed concerns about the strength of the dollar. He said: ‘The problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries.’

The pair have famously had their differences over the course of their time in public office.

Last year, the PM told a fringe event at the Tory conference the relationship between the UK and US was ‘special but not exclusive’, adding Britain should not be ‘worried like some teenage girl at a party if we’re not considered to be good enough’.

 

There are suggestions the economic outlook is far more dire than Mr Hunt predicted. Even after U-turns already made on corporation tax and income tax, the Treasury is still likely to have a shortfall worth up to £52 billion.

Mr Hunt is expected to pour over Mr Kwarteng’s fiscal statement in an attempt to find further ways to claw back money ahead of delivering a ‘proper budget’ on October 31.  

Conservative MPs have described Ms Truss as being in office but not in power, noting the opposing viewpoints she and Mr Hunt have so publicly held.

Mr Hunt ran for the Conservative leadership this summer on a platform of slashing corporation tax to 15 per cent to boost growth.

A former Tory Minister said: ‘What’s the point of Liz Truss if she’s implementing an agenda cooked up by Jeremy that she doesn’t agree with?’ 

As Chancellor, he will now enact Mr Sunak’s plan to increase corporation tax from 19 to 25 per cent in April after Ms Truss U-turned on her reversal of the policy.

Mr Hunt also previously opposed cuts to personal levies such as National Insurance and Income Tax – moves which Ms Truss has not so far rowed back on.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith, who supported Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, has admitted the Government made errors with those proposals.

Asked if the Prime Minister’s position is safe, he told Sky News: ‘Liz Truss has got the support of the Government – it’s really important at this time that we have stability.’

On whether they had got decisions wrong, Mr Griffith said: ‘Yeah for sure there’s things that everybody in Government would regret last week, and that’s why the Government has made changes.’

He then argued that the Government had got it right on the energy price guarantee and the focus on economic growth.

But pressed on exactly what ministers got wrong, he said: ‘The rate at which you could proceed and as the Chancellor said yesterday, not involving the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) in those conversations.

‘I think it was well meant to act as quickly as possible but obviously that has caused some of the turbulence.’

Tory MP and former Health Minister Steve Brine said Ms Truss should now be seen as the chairman, while Mr Hunt is chief executive

Tory MP and former Health Minister Steve Brine said Ms Truss should now be seen as the chairman, while Mr Hunt is chief executive

Mr Hunt is expected to pour over Mr Kwarteng's fiscal statement in an attempt to find further ways to claw back money ahead of delivering a 'proper budget' on October 31

Mr Hunt is expected to pour over Mr Kwarteng’s fiscal statement in an attempt to find further ways to claw back money ahead of delivering a ‘proper budget’ on October 31

It came after Tory MP and former Health Minister Steve Brine said Ms Truss should now be seen as the chairman, while Mr Hunt is chief executive.

The Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Mr Hunt has unsettled many of those on the Tory Right who backed her pledge to reduce taxes.

Thatcherite Tory MP John Redwood offered an early warning to the new Chancellor, tweeting: ‘You cannot tax your way to higher growth.

‘If you tax too much you end up borrowing more as you have a worse slowdown.’

But most in the party described Mr Hunt as a ‘safe pair of hands’ and said his interviews yesterday morning were ‘self-assured’.

The Labour Party is looking to capitalise on the Government crisis with a series of new adverts as it gears up for the next general election.

They attack the Conservatives for damaging the UK’s standing on the world stage, hiking mortgages and crashing the economy.

It comes after a disastrous week for Prime Minister Liz Truss, whose authority has been left severely damaged by her decision to sack chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and U-turn on planned tax cuts.

The new posters, first reported by the Sun, have been drawn up by Labour’s advertising agency Lucky Generals.

One accuses the Government of leaving ‘Britain’s reputation in tatters’ alongside a picture of a shredded Union Jack.

Another has the slogan: ‘Your mortgage is going through the roof’ incorporated into an image of a massive hole in a roof.

A third poster shows Ms Truss and the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt dressed up as clowns, alongside the message: ‘Send off the clowns.’

The Prime Minister and Mr Kwarteng’s heads have also been photoshopped onto dummies in a fourth poster, which says: ‘These dummies have crashed the economy.’

A Labour source told the PA news agency: ‘As the old saying goes, if you don’t laugh, you cry.

‘The fact the Tories have crashed the economy is deadly serious. Just look at the way the Tories have pushed up mortgage rates.’ 

Kwasi Kwarteng was ‘bounced’ into 45p tax fiasco by Liz Truss: Former Chancellor was told by PM to ‘go for’ contentious policy before sacking him

Kwasi Kwarteng argued against the Government’s disastrous plan to cut the top 45p rate of tax but was over-ruled by Liz Truss, sources have told The Mail on Sunday, Glen Owen writes.

The former Chancellor was sacked by the Prime Minister on Friday, after Ms Truss told him that he had to go in order to restore market confidence.

‘They are coming for me,’ Ms Truss said to Mr Kwarteng, referring to the plotters who want to oust the Prime Minister in the wake of the turmoil caused by his mini-budget.

Now sources have claimed that the most contentious policy, the proposed cut in the top rate to 40p, was effectively forced on Mr Kwarteng after he suggested to Ms Truss that it should be delayed until next year to avoid ‘doing too much at once’.

Former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) was sacked by the Prime Minister on Friday. He served for just 38 days. 

Sources claim the former Chancellor argued against the Government’s disastrous plan to cut the top 45p rate of tax but was over-ruled by Liz Truss (pictured) 

Jeremy Hunt (pictured with Liz Truss) was quickly announced as Mr Kwarteng's successor as Chancellor

Jeremy Hunt (pictured with Liz Truss) was quickly announced as Mr Kwarteng’s successor as Chancellor

The PM is understood to have said: ‘No – let’s go for it.’

When this newspaper asked Mr Kwarteng after the mini-budget whether Ms Truss had ‘bounced’ him into the cut, he paused before responding: ‘I think we were agreed on that.’

Ms Truss had to execute a humiliating U-turn on the plan at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham, and then also had to reverse her pledge to freeze corporation tax on Friday to reassure the markets that the measures had been costed.

Commentators have argued that if measures had been spaced out over a year the markets would not have been ‘spooked’ in the way that they were.

Mr Kwarteng was replaced by former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, a supporter of Rishi Sunak, who signalled that taxes would have to rise and public spending trimmed.

Separate sources have also claimed that Mr Kwarteng had agonised before deciding whether to back Ms Truss in the leadership contest earlier this year.

They say he confided that he was worried about her candidacy on the grounds that she was ‘a bit crazy’. Mr Kwarteng and Ms Truss have been close politically for over a decade, and live close to each other in Greenwich, South East London, where they have been seen ‘plotting’ in local pubs.

Some sources have also claimed that Mr Kwarteng had agonised before deciding whether to back Ms Truss in the leadership contest earlier this year

Some sources have also claimed that Mr Kwarteng had agonised before deciding whether to back Ms Truss in the leadership contest earlier this year

Ms Truss had to execute a humiliating U-turn on the plan at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham, and then also had to reverse her pledge to freeze corporation tax on Friday

Ms Truss delivered the news to Mr Kwarteng about his position  at a meeting on Friday after he flew back earlier than planned from talks at the International Monetary Fund in Washington

The sources say that Mr Kwarteng only endorsed Ms Truss after his preferred candidate, Ben Wallace, pulled out of the race – and only once Mr Kwarteng had been tacitly promised the Chancellorship. No 10 disputes this version of events, saying that Mr Kwarteng was an enthusiastic early supporter of Ms Truss.

An ally of Ms Truss said: ‘This was an immensely difficult decision for the PM, who told aides several times how painful she had found it to be. Liz and Kwasi had a warm meeting in the Cabinet Room and the PM felt deep personal sadness.’

The ally added that the Prime Minister had ‘little choice’ but to sack Mr Kwarteng because the whips office and senior party officials, including Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, all thought that the Chancellor had to lose his job in order to stabilise both the party and the economy.

Ms Truss delivered the news to Mr Kwarteng at a meeting on Friday after he flew back earlier than planned from talks at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. He learnt from social media that he was being dismissed as he was being driven to Downing Street.

He became the second shortest-serving Chancellor, having served for just 38 days.

Despite this, Mr Kwarteng is understood to believe that Ms Truss has bought herself just ‘a few weeks’ by sacking him and reversing the budget because the ‘wagons are circling’.

Mr Kwarteng was not available for comment.

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