Rishi Sunak: Voters want Tories to 'deliver for them'
Boris Johnson’s allies have reacted with fury over attempts to spin the Tory local election disaster as being his fault and a consequence of Partygate. Allies of Mr Johnson have told Express.co.uk that the “desperate spin” is coming from Tory MPs “who do not want to take responsibility” for the coups which removed him and later Liz Truss.
Supporters of Mr Sunak have claimed that the results were down to Ms Truss’ mini-budget and the chaos around Partygate.
But allies of both former Prime Ministers have claimed that the turmoil caused by the double coup last year has done more damage to the party than anything else.
A former senior minister and critic of Mr Sunak told Express.co.uk: “It’s clear that by trying to blame Boris will enrage the party grassroots and those have lost their seats.
“The leadership is tin-eared and unappealing to the public and MPs need to stop denying this and take responsibly for the mess they have created.”
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The Johnson loyalist went on: “Last year was down to the MPs and a leadership coup by Rishi Sunak and his cronies.”
The damning indictment came with the Tories on course for losing more than 800 seats, seen by MPs as a catastrophe for the party.
As of writing the Conservatives had lost 10 councils including safe blue wall areas of Medway in Kent and Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire.
Express.co.uk revealed earlier this week that Mr Johnson is mulling over attending the grassroots rebel conference organised by the Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO).
The conference will have keynote speakers such as Nadine Dorries and Priti Patel who have been highly critical of the current leadership.
One of the organisers, former treasurer Lord Cruddas, a close ally of Mr Johnson who fronted the Conservative Post petition to allow members to stop him resigning, blamed Mr Sunak.
The Tory peer said: “The local elections results and the dire polls leading into the local elections are a reflection of the disunity in the Conservative Party caused by the 1922 committee and MPs in removing two sitting Prime Ministers and installing a leader rejected by the members.
“You cannot expect any political party to be successful if you ignore and disenfranchise members and treat them with contempt. Which is what has happened to the Conservative Party in the last year.
“There is only one way the Conservative Party can turn this whole thing around and that is to listen to the members and start to rebuild the party from the grassroots upwards.
“Otherwise the Conservative Party will be out of power for a generation and the blame will lay firmly at the feet of the Conservative Parliamentary Party.”
The conference will take place on May 13 in Bournemouth and could be a platform for a push to hold Mr Sunak to account.
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