Sunak and Mordaunt’s ‘dream team’ plot ‘fraught’ with major flaws

Sunak and Mordaunt: Expert suggests ‘dream team’

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Jon Sopel, the host of The News Agents, has claimed that the plot to oust Liz Truss with the second and third-place finishers in the Tory leadership contest is “fraught with difficulty”. Having spoken to two senior Conservative MPs, Mr Sopel related how they told him such a move had to be done “cleanly” because if it is “messy”, it could spell disaster for the Party in the long run. Should the move be successful, the Tories would have had five different leaders in six years, with such instability expected to play poorly at the upcoming general election. It comes as the latest polls suggest that more than fifty percent of respondents said they would support a plot to remove the current Prime Minister. 

Mr Sopel said: “What is the political way through this? I have spoken to two senior Conservatives today, both ex-ministers, and, of course, there is a lot of talk in Westminster about the potential of some kind of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt dream team leadership who take over from Kwasi Kwarteng and from Liz Truss. 

“One of [the senior Conservatives] said that ‘you have got to do this cleanly. It has just got to be absolutely a decapitation. You cannot have it being messy’. 

“The problem you then get is who is number one and who is number two in that relationship? And then you suddenly see how fraught with difficulty this would be to pull off. 

“I’m sure Rishi Sunak wants to be Prime Minister but I am sure Penny Mordaunt would say ‘But Rishi, you got rejected by the membership. I am going to be Prime Minister’. 

“And who agrees to be foreign secretary slash Chancellor and who agrees to be Prime Minister, that is complicated.” 

Liz Truss’ tenure in Downing Street has been beset by issues from the minute she assumed office, despite a period of mourning following the death of the Queen and an absence from Commons during conference season. 

While she inherited a premiership many called a poison chalice given the crippling cost of living crisis, soaring energy bills and rising inflation, her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget a fortnight ago appears to have exaggerated the issues she faced. 

Following reports that she may have to initiate another U-turn on her Government’s fiscal event, having already been forced on the second day of the Conservative conference to scrap her plan to abolish the top tax rate, it has been reported that some Tory MPs are looking to replace the Prime Minister with a “unity” candidate of Mr Sunak and Ms Mordaunt, who came second and third in the leadership contest respectively. 

According to The Times, around “20 to 30” senior MPs and former ministers are searching for a way to tell Truss to resign. One former minister said: “Conversations are stepping up.”

Another senior MP said: “A coronation won’t be that hard to arrange. In 2019 candidates needed eight MPs to get on the ballot paper. This year they needed 20. Next time it will be however high it needs to be for only one candidate to clear it.”

The exact logistics of the move are unclear but the rumours spell concern for the current Prime Minister. 

And as her Chancellor flies back from a conference in Washington DC ahead of schedule, it is expected that the pair will announce a U-turn on their plan to reverse the proposed rise to corporation tax from 19 percent to 25 percent, a move that could further unsettled the Party.  

In light of this, a YouGov poll found that roughly 50 percent of respondents said they would support a move from Conservative MPs to remove Ms Truss from office.


Truss warned by Tory MPs she has just DAYS to save her premiership [REVEAL] 
Senior Tories plotting to oust Truss and replace her [REPORT] 
Kwarteng cuts US trip short to consider another major U-turn [REVEAL] 

But one former minister in the Party decried the plot to remove Ms Truss as an attempt to “overturn democracy”, while another suggested it was pure fiction. 

On Friday morning, Nadine Dorries lashed out at the rebellious senior Tories, writing: “Those absurdly called grandee MPs (men) agitating to remove Liz Truss are all Sunak supporters. 

“They agitated to remove Boris Johnson and now they will continue plotting until they get their way. It’s a plot not to remove a PM but to overturn democracy. #BackLiz.” 

And international trade minister Greg Hands, on the media rounds this morning, said he “did not recognise the story at all.” 

He said: “I was talking only yesterday with Penny Mordaunt. I don’t recognise that story at all. Rishi Sunak did not win the leadership contest, Liz Truss did win the leadership contest. I am dealing with the situation that we are in.”


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Poll shows Tories are heading to catastrophic defeat as MPs plot coup

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