Sunak must be replaced as PM, says former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke

  • By Sam Francis
  • Political reporter, BBC News

Image supply, UK Parliament by way of Reuters

Image caption,

The prime minister delivered an announcement on current Houthi strikes within the House of Commons on 23 January

A senior Tory MP has referred to as for his occasion to exchange Rishi Sunak as prime minister or be “massacred” within the common election.

In an article in the Telegraph, former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke stated the Conservatives wanted a frontrunner who “shares the instincts of the majority”.

Sir Simon, who rebelled on the Rwanda Bill, stated the occasion has misplaced “key voters” by failing to be daring on immigration and authorities reform.

Downing Street has but to remark.

But a number of ex-Tory cabinet ministers, together with Dame Priti Patel and David Davis, have criticised Sir Simon’s article.

Former residence secretary Dame Priti accused her colleague of “engaging in facile and divisive self indulgence”.

And Mr Davis, a former Brexit secretary, stated: “The Party and the country are sick and tired of MPs putting their own leadership ambitions ahead of the UK’s best interests.”

Sir Simon is now the second former minister publicly calling for Mr Sunak to resign. Former schooling minister Dame Andrea Jenkyns submitted a letter of no confidence within the prime minister in November.

After serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury whereas Mr Sunak was Chancellor, Sir Simon turned an enthusiastic supporter of Liz Truss’s management bid and joined her cabinet.

Conservative MPs can solely set off a management election if 53 MPs write to the chair of the 1922 Committee requesting one.

In his Telegraph op-ed, Sir Simon stated “the Conservative Party under Rishi Sunak once again stands on the opposite, crumbling bank of this widening precipice”.

The former levelling up secretary stated Tory MPs would possibly be “afraid” of electing a fourth chief in two years however requested: “Which is worse: a week of chaotic headlines in Westminster, or a decade of decline under Keir?”

“Every Conservative MP will need to live with the decision they make in the coming days for the rest of their lives. Failing to act would itself represent a decision,” he added.

Sir Simon’s feedback come after every week of open insurrection in opposition to Mr Sunak over his flagship Rwanda Bill – to discourage migrants from crossing the Channel in small boats.

Last week 61 Conservative MPs voted to vary the invoice as it went by way of Parliament – the largest insurrection of Mr Sunak’s premiership.

The debate over the laws has uncovered on-going divisions amongst Conservatives with two deputy chairmen, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, quitting their roles with a purpose to vote for the insurgent amendments.

On the opposite aspect, the One Nation caucus of about 100 Tory MPs threatened to kill the invoice if the Mr Sunak agreed to any of the insurgent amendments.

John Ashworth, a Labour shadow cabinet minister, stated Sir Simon’s article revealed simply how divided the Conservative occasion is.

Mr Ashworth stated: “It doesn’t matter who leader is because the party is divided from top to bottom.”

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper stated it’s “utterly ludicrous that the Conservative Party is even discussing installing a fourth prime minister without giving voters a say”.

Mr Sunak is the third Conservative prime minister for the reason that 2019 election, after MPs deposed each Boris Johnson and Liz Truss in 2022.

There has been a way of gloom amongst Conservatives over the previous few weeks as Mr Sunak’s repeated makes an attempt to achieve the higher hand politically have did not make a dent of their standing, trailing Labour by 18 points in polls.

If correct, the ballot would imply “more Tory seats being lost than in 1997, the Red Wall being wiped out completely and shocking defeats in historic Tory constituencies like Chichester, Horsham and Banbury,” Sir Simon stated.

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