Liz Truss: All she stood for has been 'ripped up' says Munchetty
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A snap poll of Tory party members shows more than half saying Liz Truss should resign while a staggering 83 percent say she is doing a bad job. The poll results come after Ms Truss survived a Cabinet meeting in which none of her ministers urged her to quit.
Asked whether Ms Truss was concerned about ministers talking about replacing her, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Her view is she needs to be focused on what is right for the country rather than on any internal discussions among the party at the moment.
“She is conscious these are globally difficult times and the UK is in a difficult situation economically.”
Cabinet was dominated by discussions on spending after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt tore up Ms Truss’s original plan for tax cuts and increased public borrowing.
Asked if ministers offered their support, the spokesman said: “Certainly ministers were very involved in the discussions around preparations for the medium-term fiscal plan.”
When he was asked if any of the Cabinet suggested Ms Truss should quit, the spokesman said: “No.”
The challenge facing the Prime Minister was underlined by the YouGov survey of 530 Conservative Party members on Monday and Tuesday which saw 55 percent say she should resign and only 38 percent back her remaining.
About 39 percent of those who voted for Ms Truss in the Tory leadership race said she should quit, compared with 57 percent who said she should not.
Some 83 percent said she was doing badly as Conservative leader, compared with 15 percent who said she was doing well and two percent being unsure.
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Boris Johnson, three months after he was forced to resign, was favourite to succeed her on 32 percent, followed by former chancellor Rishi Sunak on 23 percent and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on 10 percent, the poll showed.
Some 60 percent said they would back a proposal of a unity candidate to succeed Ms Truss being chosen without members having a say.
The poll is not large enough to be considered representative of the wider membership, but YouGov’s research has frequently given a good indication of the party’s mood in the past.
A separate YouGov study of 1,724 British adults between October 14 and 16 saw Ms Truss’s net favourability plummet to minus 70.
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Just 10 percent of Britons had a favourable opinion of the Prime Minister, with 80 percent viewing her unfavourably, according to the survey.
Among Tory voters her support continues to drop: 20 percent had a favourable view with 71 percent unfavourable.
The Prime Minister’s current net favourability score of minus 51 among Tory voters is down 26 points since last week.
A Savanta ComRes poll of 1,126 British adults on Monday found 67 percent thought Tory MPs should replace Ms Truss, with just 21 percent saying she should stay.
Among Tory voters 62 percent thought Conservative MPs should work to remove Ms Truss.
She is meeting Tory MPs from the European Research Group today (October 18) in a bid to shore up her position in Westminster.
Earlier, Ms Truss was warned by a senior minister she cannot afford to make any more mistakes as she battles to stay in No 10.
Armed Forces minister James Heappey said: “She’s very much our Prime Minister and, for what it’s worth, I think she’s doing a good job.”
He told Sky News that given how skittish the UK’s politics is at the moment he did not think there was an opportunity to make any more mistakes.
One of the factors keeping Ms Truss in office, despite being forced to abandon the economic platform which got her elected Tory leader, is the lack of an obvious successor.
Tory MPs are reluctant to have another leadership contest involving the Conservative membership, which could take months and further damage the party.
Avoiding a contest would mean identifying a consensus figure who would be acceptable to the majority of MPs.
Mr Heappey suggested the alternative to “rowing in behind the Prime Minister and making a success of her Government is to throw ourselves into another period of great rancour” because the idea of a unity candidate is “for the birds”.
He told the BBC: “The idea there is somebody who could emerge and behind whom everybody in the parliamentary party and our membership unites, and the country forgets about everything that has happened for the last 15 months or so, and we’re just allowed to get on with it – I just don’t think that is the case.”
Downing Street said at Tuesday morning’s Cabinet meeting, Ms Truss acknowledged before colleagues the Government had gone “too far and too fast in the mini-budget”.
Her spokesman said: “The Prime Minister said she wanted to be honest with the public that times would be tough, but that by addressing long-standing issues now, we can put the country on a stronger path for the future.”
On Monday, Mr Hunt reversed almost all of the tax cuts his predecessor, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced in September’s mini-budget in an attempt to reassure the markets the Government will take a responsible approach to the public finances.
At Cabinet, he made clear while public spending will continue to rise, departments will need to find ways to save money.
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