Liz Truss’ own MPs are calling for her to quit, with the UK Prime Minister’s job on the line barely a month after she took office.
Three of her own politicians have so far demanded she resign, with plotters already lining up candidates to seize the top job in what’s being branded a “coronation”.
Ms Truss has faced massive criticism after her and former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini-Budget’ contributed to a collapse in the Pound and saw mortgage rates triple.
Mr Kwarteng’s replacement Jeremy Hunt has rushed forward an economic statement that Ms Truss prays will shore up confidence in the markets – else she could be out of a job by the end of the week.
Mr Hunt’s statement later today – which wasn’t due for another two weeks but was suddenly announced at 6am – is expected to rip Ms Truss’ economic plan to shreds and ditch most of her £65 billion ($117 billion) in unfunded tax cuts.
He could even introduce tax rises, something Ms Truss completely ruled out mere days ago and a promise that was at the centre of her leadership campaign.
The new Chancellor’s agenda has raised questions over who is really in charge of the UK – Ms Truss or Mr Hunt.
The Prime Minister will address a core group of her own Conservative MPs on Monday (Tuesday morning AEDT) in a desperate attempt to win their support, but many believe the writing is already on the wall for her.
“I would be very, very surprised if there are people dying in a ditch to keep Liz Truss as our Prime Minister,” former minister Crispin Blunt said.
While another Conservative MP, Andrew Bridgen, said: “Beleaguered Liz Truss has now run out of friends — she only ever had the support of a third of the elected MPs.”
A third MP, Jamie Wallis, added told Ms Truss that she “no longer holds the confidence of the country or the parliamentary party”.
Robert Halfon did not explicitly call for Ms Truss to resign, but did have some stinging words for her.
He told Sky News that her and Mr Kwarteng “looked like libertarian jihadists and treated the whole country as kind of laboratory mice in which to carry out kind of ultra-ultra-free market experiments and this is not where the country is”.
The Conservatives are now nearly 30 points behind the opposition Labour party in the polls and members of the governing party fear they could be wiped out at the next election.
Under current rules, Ms Truss cannot face a leadership contest for a year.
This has led some as many as 100 Conservative MPs to call for the party’s rules to be rewritten to get rid of Ms Truss and install someone else as PM.
There are growing rumours that Rishi Sunak – who was Chancellor under Boris Johnson – and Penny Mordaunt – who ran to be PM but was narrowly beaten by Mr Sunak and Ms Truss – are sounding out MPs to see if they have enough support to mount a challenge.
Mr Sunak has remained quiet so far, understandable given the perception that he knifed Mr Johnson in the back,leading to the former PM’s resignation earlier this year.
Ms Mordaunt, however, offered her support to Ms Truss in an article for the Daily Telegraph.
“Our country needs stability not a soap opera,” she said.
“The national mission though is clear, as the prime minister said. That is what we should all focus on now. It needs pragmatism and teamwork. It needs us to work with the prime minister and her new chancellor. It needs all of us.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has also been touted as someone who could steer the ship through troubled waters, but he chose not to run in the previous leadership contest.
Originally published as UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’ own MPs call for her to quit as new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt rushes forward economic plan