Conservative MPs are already planning to replace Liz Truss as party leader due to her disastrous first month in office, a senior Tory said.
Paul Goodman, the editor of the Influential ConservativeHome Website said Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt were among MPs tapped as possible replacements for the prime minister.
It comes after Ms Truss’ first budget in office pushed up the pound tank and interest rates on government and mortgage debt.
A series of unfunded tax cuts, mostly for higher earners, has unleashed financial markets chaos and has caused the Tory poll rating tank to hit record lows.
A poll of seats in the Tory heartland of southern England released on Wednesday showed Labor grabbing chunks of the party’s secure ‘Blue Wall’ seats, while national polls saw Ms Truss’ party trail twenty to thirty points behind the opposition.
“All kinds of people talk about all kinds of things because the Conservative backbenchers are looking for a possible replacement for Kwasi Kwarteng, even a possible replacement for Liz Truss,” said Goodman, himself a former Tory MP.
“All sorts of names thrown around, Rishi Sunak, even Boris Johnson, Kit Malthouse, Sajid Javid.
“But one idea that’s making the rounds is that Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak, who together got pretty much two-thirds of the MPs vote, agree and essentially take over.”
Ms Mordaunt and Mr Sunak both again led Ms Truss in the Tory leadership contest which the Prime Minister won just a month ago.
Mr Sunak, in particular, used the competition to warn that Ms Truss’ economic policies – which are based on ideas promoted by right-wing think tanks – would result in economic disaster.
Asked whether an offer to replace the current Tory leader would be decided without party members, Mr Goodman said: “Yes, I suppose the agreement would be to agree on a candidate so that members could have a exception are.
“I have to say I’m not very enthusiastic about this type of idea myself, nor am I enthusiastic about the prospect of the Conservative Party throwing out its fourth leader in seven years.”
Existing Conservative rules are believed to protect Ms Truss from direct challenge by MPs for a year before her election – but it is believed these could be changed if the right authorities in the party were brought on board.
However, such an attempt to replace her without a Members’ vote could be scuttled by other MPs opting for the leadership contest.
At a meeting of the 1922 Party Committee last night, recalcitrant Tory MPs pushed for more about-faces in the Prime Minister’s budget in what has been described as a “robust exchange of views”.
MPs urged Ms Truss to reverse her decision to cut corporation tax, a measure that has cost the Treasury £18.7 billion and is expected to leave a black hole in public finances.
The Prime Minister reportedly doubled her tax cuts at a £1,500-a-ticket Tory fundraiser on Wednesday night Daily Telegraph reports.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly defended the Prime Minister, saying dumping Ms Truss now “would be a disastrously bad idea, not only politically but also economically”.