Liz Truss makes her final speech outside Downing Street
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Liz Truss has been accused of “trashing” the right wing of the Tory party, with a Conservative insider warning that members of the powerful Tory faction the European Research Group (ERG), are “gutted” about the events that led to Rishi Sunak becoming Prime Minister. The right-wing of the Tory party, which traditionally supports low taxation measures, threw its weight behind Ms Truss in this Summer’s leadership contest. The race saw Rishi Sunak lose to Ms Truss in a vote of party members.
She was forced to resign just six weeks later after her disastrous mini-budget sparked weeks of economic turmoil in the UK.
But speaking to Express.co.uk, one Conservative insider said: “Liz Truss has absolutely trashed the right of the party.”
Referring to the events which led to Mr Sunak becoming Prime Minister, they said that senior members of the ERG are “completely gutted about what happened”.
In his first speech outside 10 Downing Street last week, Mr Sunak said he had been elected as Tory leader to “fix” the “mistakes” made by Ms Truss.
He also warned that the UK is facing a “profound economic crisis”, blaming the aftermath of Covid and Vladimir Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine.
He vowed to place “economic stability and confidence at the heart of this Government’s agenda”.
Mr Sunak said: “This will mean difficult decisions to come.”
But he promised to repeat the “compassion” he showed during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new Prime Minister also pledged to unite the party, saying: “We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together because that is the only way we will overcome the challenges we face.”
Before Ms Truss resigned, the party was battling intense division, with a vote on fracking on the final day of Ms Truss’s premiership plunging into chaos.
Some MPs claimed that Tory backbenchers had been bullied and physically “manhandled” during the vote.
Labour MP Chris Bryant told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the atmosphere at the vote was “very aggressive” and “very angry”, describing some MPs’ behaviour as “clear bullying and intimidation”.
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He claimed: “I saw a whole swathe of MPs effectively pushing one member straight through the door. I’ve seen photographic evidence of one MP’s hand on another.”
“I have never seen scenes like that. All of this is happening because there is complete chaos in government.”
Mr Bryant added that Tory MPs, including one whip, were “literally crying on my shoulder”.
A Labour source admitted the chaos was better than they could have hoped for.
They gleefully told Express.co.uk: “We never expected the explosion in the division lobby.”
Relishing the mayhem now engulfing the Tory party, they added: “They walked right into our trap when they made the vote a confidence motion. It was just stupid.”
One female former cabinet minister told Express.co.uk: “I wasn’t manhandled myself but in all my time in Parliament, I have never seen anything like it.
“The fact that the chief whip couldn’t even decide if she had resigned or not and the total confusion over whether it was a confidence vote just sums up the mess we are in.”
In the preceding days, Ms Truss had been forced to reverse a number of the measures announced in the mini-budget, including the cut to the base rate of income tax and the abolition of the 45p band of tax.
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