‘Quit now Rishi!’ Leadership hopeful backed to end contest EARLY as energy crisis explodes

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Exclusive polling by TechneUK for this website suggests 62 percent of Conservative supporters would back the former Chancellor bowing out of the contest now. Less than a third, 29 percent, said they would not consent to an early end to the race, while nine percent were unsure.

The findings come as pressure continues to be ratcheted up against the Government to get a grip of the cost of living crisis.

The clear support from Tory voters for Mr Sunak to withdraw from the contest came even before today’s energy price cap announcement.

TechneUK surveyed 1,624 Britons between August 24 and 25.

Ofgem confirmed this morning an 80.06 percent rise in the energy price cap, sending the average household’s yearly bill from £1,971 to £3,549 from October.

The cap will come into effect for around 24 million households in England, Scotland and Wales on default energy tariffs on October 1, and will remain in place until December 31, when it will be adjusted again.

Boris Johnson has said “extra cash” would be unveiled by his successor next month to help families struggling with the cost of living, but has refused to make any concrete announcements himself on further support himself.

Downing Street says that “by convention, it is not for this Prime Minister to make major fiscal interventions” while his successor is being picked.

But Labour has seized on the inaction by Mr Johnson to accuse him of going “missing” and running a “zombie government”.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said this morning: “People deserve a government that can meet the scale of this national emergency – not this spectacle of a Tory leadership race or a Prime Minister that put his out of office on months ago.

“Labour is on your side, and our fully-funded plan to freeze the price cap will make sure households don’t pay a penny more this winter, saving you £1,000.

“Our mission for homegrown renewable energy and to insulate 19 million homes will keep bills down for the long term too.

“Only Labour can give Britain the fresh start it needs.”

With Sir Keir Starmer’s party ramping up the pressure on the Conservatives, some in the government now believe it would be best if Ms Truss could start her job immediately after the bank holiday weekend, one week early, to focus on dealing with the skyrocketing energy bills.

“It’s becoming clear that having such a long leadership contest was a mistake,” one Tory MP told Express.co.uk.

“We know the outcome, ideally Liz would already be in position by now.”

Polling suggests it is now almost inevitable Ms Truss will be elected as the next Conservative party leader and appointed as Prime Minister.

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With 10 days until the result of the contest is announced, the Foreign Secretary has a commanding 28 point lead over her rival.

A poll of 801 Conservative members taken between August 18 and 25 by TechneUK for this website found 64 percent of those with a ballot back Ms Truss.

Just 36 percent said they wanted Mr Sunak to be the next party leader.

However, Mr Sunak has already insisted he will not stand aside for Ms Truss in wake of the polls.

Vowing to plough on, he said: “I am fighting for what I believe is right for our country.”

He added: “I am going to fight until the last day with everything I have got because I am fighting for what I believe in.”

Mr Sunak has said protecting people from rising energy bills would be his “immediate priority” as Prime Minister.

Reacting to today’s energy price cap rise, he said that people can judge him on his “track record” as chancellor, pointing to the package of support he announced for people to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

“It was acknowledged as being commensurate with the scale of the challenge, targeted at the people most in need,” the Richmond MP told broadcasters this morning.

“That is my track record in grappling with this issue.

“I moved quickly as Chancellor and this will be my immediate priority as prime minister and I’d like to try and do the same thing and make sure that we protect the most vulnerable as much as we can from this significant increase in bills.”

A spokesman for Ms Truss’s campaign said her government would ensure people get the support needed to get through tough times.

“Today’s announcement will cause grave concern to many people across the UK who will be worried about paying their bills. As Prime Minister, Liz would ensure people get the support needed to get through these tough times,” they said.

Ms Truss has previously said she does not believe handouts are the best way to help households through the cost-of-living squeeze, and she prefers to focus on tax cuts.

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