‘Deeply unhappy’ Tory MPs drafting letters of no confidence in Sunak

PMQs: Rishi Sunak’s first opening statement as PM

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Rishi Sunak is facing a major crisis with “deeply unhappy” Conservative Party MPs already preparing letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister, led by a furious backlash over his massive Cabinet reshuffle. Boris Johnson announced last Sunday night he was withdrawing from the Tory leadership contest, ending hopes of a stunning return. On Monday, Penny Mordaunt also said she was withdrawing, leaving the path clear for Mr Sunak to be formally announced as the next Prime Minister – without a vote being cast.

But in a major crisis, some “deeply unhappy” MPs on the right of the party are already preparing their letters to Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, to ask for a vote of new confidence in Mr Sunak, as revealed by Express.co.uk political editor David Maddox.

He said their fury is being led by Mr Sunak’s Cabinet changes, which resulted in “a number of sacked ministers” believing he failed to keep the promise he made of “a big tent” Government that “took in the different wings of the party”.

Mr Maddox wrote: “While some of Ms Truss’s appointments like Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch kept their jobs, they have been dismissed as ‘the accommodating types’ while real Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg and former chairman Jake Berry were ejected in short order.

“Below the Cabinet, the reshuffle was more akin to Nightmare on Elm Street than Downing Street with a clear out of Brexiteers, the 2019 intake and many from the Tory right.”

It’s another sign of the deep divisions that continue to tear the Tories apart, which have worsened considerably over recent months and even more so under the premiership of Liz Truss.

But Mr Sunak is already facing a major backlash, with one Conservative MP warning: “It’s not a big tent at all. People are biding their time but letters are going to go in [to Sir Graham]. They are already being drafted.

“I think they will be going in after this weekend when people see what the new regime is going to be like. My guess would be that there will be crisis after crisis and letter after letter.”

Another exasperated MP said: “Don’t rule out another leadership vote next year.”

Mr Maddox said in his article that fury surged on Sunday when supporters of the new Prime Minister “briefed the i newspaper about a push to ‘purge the right’ from the parliamentary party”.

The reappointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary – “who has been a standard bearer for the right” – has also sparked a backlash.

She was sacked from the job earlier this month by Ms Truss but one Tory MP said her reappointment was a “sop to the right”, while another warned letters will soon start “pouring in” demanding she is sacked.

Mr Sunak was formally confirmed as the UK’s new Prime Minister last Tuesday afternoon and quickly set about insisting he would try to fix the mess left by his predecessor Ms Truss.

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The former Chancellor also vowed to restore faith in politics and tackle a “profound economic crisis” but warned the country there would be difficult decisions.

In a speech outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Sunak paid tribute to Ms Truss, who only lasted 44 days in the top job as she paid the price for her disastrous economic policies that plunged financial markets into chaos.

He defended her for trying to “improve growth in this country” and said he “admired her restlessness to create change”.

However, Mr Sunak also admitted: “But some mistakes were made. Not born of ill will or bad intentions. Quite the opposite, in fact, but mistakes nonetheless.

“And I have been elected as leader of my party and your Prime Minister, in part to fix them. And that work begins immediately.

“I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. This will mean difficult decisions to come.”

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