Liz Truss announces her resignation as Prime Minister
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The former Prime Minister is ready to ride to the rescue in the “national interest” after weeks of economic turmoil plunged the government into chaos. In another astonishing day in Westminster, Ms Truss said she will stand down within days because she “cannot deliver the mandate” Tory members gave her six weeks ago.
Mr Johnson is by far the favourite candidate to take over among the party’s grassroots and dozens of MPs yesterday were quick to back him.
But figures on the right accused party chiefs of a “stitch up” to catapult Rishi Sunak into the top job and keep out Mr Johnson and candidates like Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch.
Leadership hopefuls must secure the votes of 100 MPs by Monday afternoon to make it through to the final round.
Mr Sunak and Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt topped the figure in the last contest.
A source said: “It’s a massive stitch-up. The rules are designed to keep Boris, Kemi and Suella out.
“The 1922 committee was very agitated towards Boris at the end.
“They want the second candidate who makes it onto the list to drop out.
“But it would be a massive problem if Rishi, who was rejected by party members, ends up becoming Prime Minister without the support of the membership.
“They are playing with fire.”
At 1.30pm, Ms Truss emerged from No 10 to make a statement admitting her time was up.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by husband Hugh O’Leary, said a short leadership contest “will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security”.
“I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”
The clamour for Mr Johnson, who is on holiday in the Caribbean, to return to Downing Street began immediately, with more than 30 MPs saying it was time to “bring back Boris”.
Government minister Sir James Duddridge, Mr Johnson’s former parliamentary aide, said it was time for a comeback.
He said: “I hope you enjoyed your holiday boss. Time to come back. Few issues at the office that need addressing.”
Tory Brendan Clarke-Smith said he wants Mr Johnson to come back and it was time to let “bygones be bygones”.
Nadine Dorries, one of Mr Johnson’s most loyal allies, said there must not be a “coronation of previously failed candidates”
She said: “One person was elected by the British public with a manifesto and a mandate until January 2025.”
Tory Marco Longhi said: “The only person who has a mandate from the general public, is Boris Johnson MP. He is the only person that commands that authority given to him by the public at a General Election.
“He is the only person who can discharge the mandate from the people. Please come back Boss.”
Conservative Stephen McPartland said his email inbox is “inundated with local people saying we must bring back Boris”.
One Whitehall source said if Mr Johnson apologised over the mistakes that were made there would be a “clear route” back for him.
“He is the only one with a mandate from the people and he can always achieve what would be impossible for anyone else.”
Earlier this week a poll of over 500 British Conservative Party members found Mr Johnson was the top preference to replace Ms Truss at 32 per cent followed by Mr Sunak at 23 per cent.
But Mr Johnson still faces an investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he lied to MPs about partygate.
He could face recall proceedings that would leave him battling for his seat in the Commons if it finds him guilty.
Mr Johnson was forced to announce his resignation as Tory leader and, ultimately, PM on July 7 after Cabinet allies turned on him with a series of resignations.
It followed questions about his judgment over the Chris Pincher affair, after the then-Tory whip was the centre of drunken groping allegations.
Tory John Baron said some would find it impossible to serve under him, suggesting they could resign the whip to sit as independents.
“I would find it very, very difficult, almost impossible – in fact I would find it impossible – to serve under Boris coming back and being prime minister,” he said.
Ms Truss gave in to demands for her resignation after chaotic scenes in the Commons on Wednesday where the party was engulfed in open warfare.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May said Ms Truss was “right to provide a roadmap for an orderly transition”.
“MPs must now be prepared to compromise,” she said. “It is our duty to provide sensible, competent government at this critical moment for our country.”
Sir John Redwood said he wants to see who the candidates are and what Mr Johnson is offering.
He added: “The framing issue must be do you want to see off the recession or do you want to make it worse?
“I will be encouraging any candidate who sees that so-called treasury orthodoxy will make it worse and we will end up in a longer and deeper recession.
“What have got to fight that and end up with some authentic Conservative policies that promote growth, enterprise, freedom and all those good things.”
Conservative MP Laurence Robertson said “I’m sorry that Liz Truss has been forced to resign as Prime Minister. She has been brave enough to challenge the Treasury orthodoxy and to try to boost growth in our economy. She has also provided help for millions of people at a crucial time. Whoever takes over will still have the same problems to face. I will be working to try to ensure that the Conservative Party comes together and acts in the best interests of everyone in the country.”
How Truss gave her farewell to Number 10
Here is the resignation statement Liz Truss delivered in Downing Street:
“I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability.
“Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills.
“Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent. And our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth.
“I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this – we delivered on energy bills and on cutting national insurance.
“And we set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.
“I recognise though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.
“I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.
“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We have agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week.
“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.
“I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you.”
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