Truss v Rishi – Boris in the firing line as successors start ‘manoeuvres’ to replace him

Liz Truss is a 'freedom-loving Thatcherite' says Kirsty Buchanan

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The Prime Minister has faced calls to resign from opposition parties and from members of his own party. Mr Johnson is facing increasing pressure after it was revealed there were several parties in Downing Street during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Brexit minister Liz Truss are the favoured candidates to replace Mr Johnson as Prime Minister and leader of the party.

Now, according to Politico, Mr Sunak and Ms Truss are on “manoeuvres” to oust the Prime Minister.

Some members of the Tory Party have predicted an attempt to remove Mr Johnson by next summer.

One former minister told Politico: “There are a small number of Truss-ites, but they tend to be the lunatic fringe.”

A serving frontbencher added: “Boris doesn’t mind them doing a bit of peacocking — it’s better to keep the two of them level-pegging because then they fight each other.”

According to Politico, another senior Conservative said allowing Ms Truss the Brexit reins will be “brilliant for Boris”.

They added he is “now forcing her to dip her hands in the blood” in the ongoing negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol, agreed in the Brexit deal in 2020.

In August, a Conservative Home poll found Mr Sunak was the most favoured to move from No11 to No10.

But the Chancellor has dropped down the rankings in a new poll, with Ms Truss – who took on Brexit negotiations after Lord Frost resigned- surging past him.

According to the new poll, Ms Truss is leading 23 percent (181 votes) to Mr Sunak’s 20 percent (161) in the self-selected survey of Tory members.

Although Mr Sunak has dropped down in the Conservative Home poll, the Chancellor is still favourite to take over in the betting market.

According to a survey by Oddschecker, the Chancellor has a 32 percent chance of being the next leader, while Ms Truss has 17 percent chance.

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Last month, Mr Sunak received 10 percent of votes in an Express.co.uk poll – which surveyed 14.509 people – asking which candidate would be best to replace Mr Johnson.

Mr Sunak was again beaten to the top position by Liz Truss – who received 36 percent of the votes.

A Savanta ComRes poll – which asked 1,036 UK adults on December 8 – found a third of those who voted Conservatives in the 2019 general election believed Mr Johnson should step down.

Just 30 percent of those asked thought the Prime Minister shouldn’t surrender his position as UK leader.

At the time of one of the Christmas party, London was subject to tier 3 restrictions, which imposed a ban on social mixing between households.

No 10 initially did not say the reports were inaccurate but said all rules had been followed, before later denying any party had taken place, despite leaked footage emerging.

Mr Johnson told the Commons that Downing Street staff reiterated “there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken”.

He added if lockdown rules had been broken, “then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved”.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on December 8, he said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures.

“I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip.”

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