UK ministers are urging the party to support PM Truss, who has come under fire

UK ministers are urging the party to support PM Truss, who has come under fire


Four ministers in Liz Truss’ government on Sunday called on fellow Conservatives to back the embattled British prime minister after a tough week that revealed deep divisions within the party.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, former Treasury Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, Commons Chair Penny Mordaunt and Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena all wrote articles for Sunday newspapers warning that they would soon find themselves in opposition unless the party reached agreement quickly.

Braverman wrote in The Sun On Sunday: “Those who are working with Labor to undermine our Prime Minister are putting the Conservatives’ chance of victory in the next election at real risk.

“So the choice is easy for my colleagues and for us as a party – Liz back or (Labour leader) Keir Starmer, hand in hand with (SNP leader) Nicola Sturgeon.”

However, Braverman was one of a number of ministers who flouted Downing Street orders during her speech at the chaotic Tory party conference this week.

Zahawi wrote in the Mail On Sunday that the government had made mistakes in unfolding its fiscal policy, leading to a humiliating descent over a plan to cut income tax rates for top earners.

But he said “now is the time” to get behind Truss and warned again that the rebels risked introducing a Labor government “backed” by the SNP.

A new Opinium poll for the Observer has put Truss’ personal approval rating at minus 47.

In a sign of their fallibility, Cabinet ministers are said to have banded together to demand that Truss scrap mooted plans to increase benefits in line with wages rather than inflation, the Sunday Times reported.

The leadership’s former rival, Mordaunt, was among those who spoke out on the issue at the convention. But she struck a conciliatory tone in an article in the Sunday Telegraph.

“You measure leaders when they stand in the ring, blinded by the media lights, taking shot after shot and making the tough decisions required,” she wrote.

“All my colleagues have a role to play in delivering for the British people. Division will only play into the hands of those who would lead our country in the wrong direction.”

Jayawardena, meanwhile, wrote in the Sunday Express that Tory MPs must back the Prime Minister.

“We’ve got to support Liz Truss — or get Keir Starmer in Nicola Sturgeon’s pocket.”

Starmer has vowed not to enter into an electoral deal with the SNP, which supports Scotland’s independence from the rest of the UK, and said Labor would prefer to form a minority government.

Former culture minister Nadine Dorries is one of the conservatives targeting the Truss government.

She warned again on Sunday that the Prime Minister would have to change course in certain key areas or the party’s poll deficit, which currently lies around 30 points behind Labour, would worsen.

“I’m still one of Liz’s biggest supporters,” she told the BBC on Sunday. “Now is the time, while we have a new prime minister and government, to reflect on what went wrong and reverse that polling deficit.

“What we don’t need is a disruptor. We need a unifier.”

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