Conservative MPs broke cover on Sunday to publicly demand that Liz Truss step down as prime minister as replacements wait in the wings.
Crispin Blunt, veteran MP for Reigate, told Channel 4’s The Andrew Neil Show that Truss should stand down “now” as “the game is up”.
Jamie Wallis, MP for Bridgend, said “enough is enough”, revealing that he had written to Truss to tell her that “she no longer has the confidence of this country”.
Andrew Bridgen, known for calling for Tory prime ministers to resign, wrote on his blog: “Liz has lowered her own leadership”.
Behind closed doors, many Tory MPs have already decided that Truss should be replaced in the face of market turmoil and assessments of tanking.
A backer told HuffPost UK before the weekend: “Last week I would have given her until Christmas. Now I think she’s gone at the end of the month.
While a former minister said: “Things are just too bad now. She has to go.”
The move by some to go public on Sunday indicates that the Prime Minister’s decision to sack Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor and replace him with Jeremy Hunt has not calmed things down.
In broadcast interviews on Sunday morning, Tory MPs stopped short of calling for Truss to resign but effectively put her on notice.
Robert Halfon, the chairman of the Commons education committee, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday that the prime minister had behaved like a “libertarian jihadist” but said he was not calling on her to quit “at this time”.
In a separate interview with Times Radio, Halfon suggested the Prime Minister had “hours or days” to save her job.
Alicia Kearns, the new chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, told Times Radio it was “very difficult” when asked whether Truss should remain in office.
“I need to listen to colleagues and talk to colleagues over the coming days. But do we need a master reset? Without a doubt,” she said.
Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, when asked whether Tory MPs should put in a new leader, told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “I don’t think we’re there yet.”
But he added that Truss needed to do three things – deliver an economically credible plan, reshuffle her cabinet and restore confidence.
In an interview on the same show, Hunt, the new chancellor, insisted Truss remained “responsible” – despite essentially trashing her entire mini-budget.
Truss met with Hunt at Checkers on Sunday to plan the October 31 budget that will undo much of the platform on which she won the leadership.
Hunt is now being considered as a possible replacement for Tory leader and prime minister. Rishi Sunak, who lost to Truss in the last contest, is also seen as a likely candidate, as are Cabinet Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.