Truss's rebels to sink Sunak? 'Dozens' of Tory MPs to resist tax rises
ANDREW PIERCE: Will Liz Truss’s rebels sink Rishi Sunak? ‘Dozens’ of Tory MPs vow to resist tax rises in the government’s next budget
Plenty of Tory MPs were left outraged after Liz Truss, the 49-day PM, upstaged ministers with a carefully choreographed call for tax cuts at conference earlier in the week.
But Truss has been doing worse than simply stealing headlines.
Over the summer, she launched her so-called ‘Growth Commission’, with the backing of international economists, in an attempt to restore some credibility to her battered reputation.
The talk in the conference bars is that 64 Tory MPs have now joined the group – including some serving ministers and four former Cabinet ministers such as Dame Priti Patel.
That number is key, since the Tories, after a spate of by-election defeats and MP suspensions, have a working majority of just 60.
Former PM Liz Truss launched her so-called ‘Growth Commission’, with the backing of international economists, in an attempt to restore some credibility to her battered reputation
Rishi Sunak could be defeated if the Tory MP rebels carry out their threat by abstaining in a Budget vote, triggering an automatic general election
Those MPs who are backing Truss’s Commission say they will resist any tax rises in the Government’s next Budget.
Should they all carry out their threat by abstaining in a Budget vote, Sunak could be defeated, triggering an automatic general election and threatening to bring the Government crashing down.
Asked if that was their objective, Ranil Jayawardena, who was Truss’s environment secretary, insisted it wasn’t.
Yet if the Cabinet continues to rule out tax cuts, the numbers on the Commission will surely grow.
Truss is becoming a sharp thorn in Sunak’s side.
There was neither sight nor sound of former home secretary Priti Patel in the conference hall for the stonking speech of her successor Suella Braverman. The feud between the two formidable women shows no signs of abating.
Reinstate knighted Burns
Poetic justice for former trade minister Conor Burns who was knighted yesterday.
A year after being suspended from the Conservative Party over untrue allegations of improper behaviour at last year’s conference, Burns was ennobled at Windsor Castle by Princess Anne.
No formal complaint was ever made, and the Tories lifted the suspension, which was imposed by Liz Truss, three months later.
Now will Rishi Sunak do the right thing and give Sir Conor, pictured, back his ministerial job as well?
Conor Burns was recently knighted a year after being suspended from the Conservative Party over untrue allegations of improper behaviour at last year’s conference
Joke of the day
Claire Coutinho, the new Energy Secretary, said: ‘It’s no wonder Labour seems so relaxed about taxing meat. Sir Keir Starmer doesn’t eat it and Ed Miliband is clearly scarred by his encounter with a bacon sandwich.’
Quote of the day
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove says of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer: ‘He is the jellyfish of British politics… he’s transparent, spineless and swept along by the tide.’
Outrage at anti-Thatcher rhymes
Most women Tory MPs would be thrilled to be tipped as the next Margaret Thatcher.
But not Miriam Cates, 41, a rising star on the backbenches who has won plaudits for her forthright arguments in the trans debate.
The staunch Christian is MP for the South Yorkshire seat of Penistone and Stocksbridge, which was caught up in the 1980s miners’ strike when Mrs T was in Downing Street.
At a fringe meeting yesterday, Cates told astonished party members about growing up near the area: ‘We learnt rhymes about Thatcher and how we wanted her to die in the playground at school.’
Unsurprisingly, the revelation went down like a lead balloon.
MP for Penistone and Stockbridge Miriam Cates, 41, is rising star among backbenches and has been tipped as the next Margaret Thatcher
But she told a fringe meeting she had learnt rhymes about Mrs T (pictured in 1979) in the school playground and ‘how we wanted her to die’
In his round of broadcasts yesterday, the Prime Minister was astonished to be interviewed on BBC One’s Breakfast show by Jon Kay and Sally Nugent – two presenters ensconced in the Beeb’s Salford studio – a mere 15-minute drive from the conference centre.
The BBC has at least 50 correspondents accredited for the event. ‘They clearly didn’t have enough staff to interview the PM face to face,’ muttered one ministerial source sarcastically.
Essential advice for all would-be MPs from Baroness Bottomley, who was health and culture secretary in John Major’s government: ‘Have good health, thick skin, a sense of humour and an umbrella.’ You certainly needed a brolly in Manchester this week.
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