Former Conservative Party minister Liz Truss warns it’s ‘game over’

Crispin Blunt said he did not believe the prime minister could survive the current crisis and “the question now is how to manage the succession”. It comes as a senior Conservative MP said it was “extremely difficult” to say whether Liz Truss should continue as prime minister, and another likened the government to “libertarian jihadists”.

Mr Blunt, the Conservative MP for Regatt and was Minister of Justice in the early years of David Cameron’s premiership, backed Jeremy Hunt in the summer Tory leadership contest.

“I think the game is over,” he told Channel 4’s Andrew Neal Show, “and now the question is how to manage the succession.”

Asked how to get rid of it, he said: “If there is a weight of opinion in the parliamentary party that we must have a change, it will be implemented. Exactly how it is done and by what exact mechanism – but it will happen.”

Conservative ex-chairman Andrew Mitchell, who also backed Mr Hunt in the leadership contest, told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “The Conservative Parliamentary Party has always shown itself clearly, and indeed ruthless, in making changes if necessary. If the Prime Minister proves unable to govern effectively, she will have to step down, and the Parliamentary Party will make it clear.

Indeed, the mechanism is not important. This fact is self-confirming. But we should all try to help her succeed and function properly.”

Mr Hunt, now widely seen as the most powerful man in the government, insisted on Sunday that “the prime minister is in charge”. He also told the BBC’s Sunday correspondent with Laura Koensberg that after two leadership bids failed, his desire for the top job was “clinically eradicated”.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 14: British Prime Minister Liz Truss answers questions at a press conference in 10 Downing Street following the dismissal of her former adviser, Kwasi Quarting, on October 14, 2022 in London, England. After just five weeks in office, Prime Minister Liz Truss fired Treasurer Kwasi Quarting after he introduced a mini-budget that plunged the UK’s economy into crisis. (Photo by Daniel Leal – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

But former chancellor George Osborne, who is no longer a Member of Parliament, told The Andrew Neal Show Show that Truss will likely be gone “before Christmas”. Asked if Truss could survive, he said, “Maybe not. It’s Benno – the prime minister in name only at the moment.”

Acknowledging that “things are unpredictable”, he said it was “possible to imagine a situation” where it would “reset completely”, albeit “a long way off”.

Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, who recently became chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, told the Radio Times that it was “extremely difficult” for Truss to remain in the top job.

Asked if Ms Truss could or should survive in 10th place, Ms. Kearns said: “At the end of the day it’s very difficult because I think, you know, we have questions about our moral competence. We now have questions about our financial competence. .

“I don’t want even more questions about our ability to continue ruling as a party and our ability to stay united. It’s very difficult, and in the end, I need to listen to colleagues and talk to colleagues over the coming days. But do we need a fundamental reset? Without question.” “

The critical comments come as senior Conservative MP Robert Halfon said he wanted an “apology and a fundamental reset”.

Halfon, chair of the House of Commons Education Committee, refused to deny that MPs were considering appointing a new leader. “We’re all talking to see what we can do about it,” he said.

“I’m afraid that over the past few weeks, the government has looked like liberal jihadists and treated the entire country like a kind of lab rat for super-free market experiments. And that’s not where the country is. There has been one horror story after another,” he added.

Halfon said he was not inviting Ms Truss to go, but told Radio Times that the government needed to reset “very soon”, adding: “I can’t give you hours or days.”

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the prime minister needed a reshuffle.

Speaking to BBC correspondent Laura Koensberg about the prospect of a leadership contest, Hancock said “I don’t think we’re there yet”, but added that she needed to do three things: present an economically credible plan, rearrange the cabinet, and restore confidence. She needs to bring the broad Conservative party into her government. “It needs a reshuffle,” he said.

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