Liz Truss ‘will be judged at an election’ says Jeremy Hunt
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Commentator Nile Gardiner has warned that Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman are the “best hope” for the Conservative Party. Writing on Twitter, he said: “The sharks are circling around @liztruss in Westminster. If the PM is forced out in a coup by Tory wets, Thatcherites must rally around @SuellaBraverman and @KemiBadenoch as the best hope of saving the Conservative Party.”
Kemi Badenoch, the Secretary of State for International Trade, and Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, both stood as candidates in the Tory party leadership race which elected Liz Truss in September.
Ms Badenoch finished fourth in the leadership race and was handed a top cabinet post despite not endorsing Ms Truss after she was knocked out of the race.
This comes amid mounting turbulence within the Conservative Party, which has been fraught with division since Ms Truss’s September mini-budget introduced a swathe of tax cuts.
These included cutting the basic rate of income tax from 20 to 19 percent and abolishing the 45 percent top rate of tax.
The planned corporation tax increase, which was set to rise from 19 percent to 25 percent, will also be axed. Meanwhile, stamp duty will be cut for homebuyers.
In the wake of the announcement, the pound fell to a record low against the dollar. The following Monday, borrowing costs reached their highest levels since August 2008.
The Bank of England was then forced to intervene over a “material risk” to the UK economy, announcing it will start buying bonds in order to stabilise what it described as “dysfunctional markets”.
This came amid growing fears of a run on pension funds, similar to that seen by Northern Rock customers at the start of the financial crisis.
In a humiliating reversal yesterday, the Prime Minister reversed plans to scrap an £18bn rise in corporation tax and sacked Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, replacing him with Jeremy Hunt.
Ms Truss’ approval ratings nosedived in the wake of the Conservative party Conference at the start of October which was marred by division.
A poll conducted by Opinium earlier this week gave her a personal approval rating of -47 – an even worse rating than that recorded for Boris Johnson during Partygate and Theresa May in the weeks before her resignation.
The poll, using a survey of 2,023 people from 5 to 7 October by Opinium, saw 64 percent of people say they “disapprove” of the job Ms Truss is doing, up by nine points from last week.
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Speaking at the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs last week, Tory MP Robert Halfon told Ms Truss she had “trashed the last 10 years” of work done to establish the Conservative Party as a party which looks after the interests of working people.
He said that its focus is now on tax cuts for the rich and bankers’ bonuses.
According to the Guardian, another MP described Ms Truss’ appearance at the 1922 committee as “funereal.”
Trouble for Liz Truss reached a head last week, when the party enforced a three-line whip on Wednesday’s vote.
A three-line whip is a strict instruction to attend and vote according to the party’s position, a breach of which would normally have serious consequences for an MP.
Despite this, just 233 of 356 Tory MPs turned up to vote.
Some MPs have claimed that Ms Truss faced even more hostile questions from the Committee than those taken by ousted Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
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