Rishi Sunak blasted by Tory MP Simon Clarke demanding he resign | Politics | News

January 23, 2024
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Tory MP Sir Simon Clarke has blasted Rishi Sunak’s “uninspiring leadership” as the key obstacle to the Tories‘ inability to recover in the polls.

The key ally of Mr Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss launched a blistering attack on the PM by referring to him as going “from asset to an anchor”.

Writing in a newspaper tonight, Sir Simon said: “It is now beyond doubt that whilst the Prime Minister is far from solely responsible for our present predicament, his uninspiring leadership is the main obstacle to our recovery.

Rishi Sunak has sadly gone from asset to anchor. He lags Keir Starmer — himself no Tony Blair — by double digits on the ‘Best Prime Minister’ metric.”

The ex-cabinet minister – one of 11 Rwanda rebels last week – said it was “devastatingly obvious” the Tories are heading for defeat in the general election, which is expected to be in the second part of this year.

The move comes after 60 MPs last week defied party whips to demand the PM toughen up his flagship migration policies.

A Senior Tory spokesman hit back: “This is a self-indulgent attempt to undermine the government at a critical moment for the country.

“He may claim to be helping the party but the only person he is doing any favours for is Sir Keir Starmer.”

James Daly MP, a member of the New Conservative group, also came out in defence of Mr Sunak.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, he said: “This is absolute nonsense. The Conservative Party must unite behind the Prime Minister to stop the boats, continue levelling up our country and ensure equal opportunity for all.

“Everything else is self indulgence of the highest order.”

Liam Fox MP also described Sir Simon’s public demand for a new leader as “self indulgent”.

He said: “This is not the time for self indulgence and tribalism in the party.

“Those who have an agenda to destabilise the government in an election year should understand the consequences.

“Having been on the front bench for all 13 years in opposition, it is a miserable place. Be warned.”

Mr Clarke pointed to recent polls showing a 1997-style wipeout for the Tories.

He wrote: “The unvarnished truth is that Rishi Sunak is leading the Conservatives into an election where we will be massacred.

“Denial of impending catastrophe is an extraordinarily powerful human instinct.”

Sir Simon called on other Tory MPs to follow his lead and demand a change at the top.

He said: “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.

“We have a clear choice. Stick with Rishi Sunak, take the inevitable electoral consequences, and give the Left a blank cheque to change Britain as they see fit.

“Or we can change leader, and give our country and party a fighting chance.”



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