Four Cabinet members have penned newspaper articles urging Conservative MPs to end their infighting and back Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Nadhim Zahawi, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, and Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena warned colleagues on Oct. 9 that the Tory party would risk ending up in opposition if they fail to do so.
At the party’s annual conference held in Birmingham last week, senior Tory MPs openly expressed opposition to Truss’s plan to scrap the top rate of tax for higher earners, resulting in a humiliating U-turn.
In his article for the Mail On Sunday, Zahawi admitted the government didn't get the “whole package right” when it comes to its new economic policy, but emphasised that the prime minister “listened and decided to focus on what matters most: the bulk of our plan to get Britain moving.”
He insisted that “now is the time” for the Tories to rally behind Truss, warning that the alternative—a Labour government “propped up” by the Scottish National Party (SNP), which wants Scotland to separate from the UK—is “beyond concerning.”
“We cannot allow the keys of the Kingdom to be allowed to fall into their hands,” he said. “That is why my fellow Conservatives need to hold our nerve.”
‘Splits and Fallout’Mordaunt also warned against a divide within party ranks. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, she said Truss had “acknowledged mistakes were made” with the mini-budget and “acted” accordingly.
“All my colleagues have a part to play in delivering for the British people. We need all talents helping our nation now. Division will only play into the hands of those who would take our country in the wrong direction,” she wrote.
Writing in The Sun On Sunday, Braverman also said “splits and fallout” would lead to the Conservative Party losing the next general election to a coalition of Labour and the SNP.
She wrote: “Those working with Labour to undermine our prime minister are putting the Conservatives’ chance of victory at the next election in real danger.
“So the choice for my colleagues and for us is as a party is simple: Back Liz or get [Labour leader] Keir Starmer, hand-in-hand with [SNP leader] Nicola Sturgeon.”
Jayawardena peddled a similar message in his own piece for The Sunday Express, saying colleagues must “get behind” the prime minister and “deliver, deliver, deliver.”
‘Nonsense’The Labour Party dismissed the claim that a Labour government would be “propped up” by the SNP.
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, called the claim “complete and utter nonsense and desperate.”
He told Times Radio, “We are campaigning hard to win the trust of the British people, to form a majority Labour government.”