Tory MPs warn they will quit if Jeremy Hunt takes over

Tory infighting continues as Conservative MPs warn they will quit the party if Jeremy Hunt takes over as leader

  • Hunt became the first challenger to move against the Prime Minister on Monday
  • The former Health Secretary called for Boris Johnson to be deposed as leader 
  • Hunt came second to the current Prime Minister in the 2019 leadership contest

Conservative MPs have warned they will quit the party if Jeremy Hunt becomes leader.

In a sign of vicious blue-on-blue infighting, Brexiteers have privately warned that allowing Mr Hunt into Downing Street would push them to resign the Tory whip.

Meanwhile, a Cabinet minister has warned rebels to ‘stop infighting or we guarantee ourselves a decade in Opposition’.

Although Boris Johnson won last week’s confidence vote in his leadership, 148 of his MPs – 41 per cent of the parliamentary party – revealed they had no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Mr Hunt became the first leadership challenger to move against the Prime Minister. After quietly preparing for a challenge for more than a year, the former Cabinet Minister on Monday called for Mr Johnson to be deposed because ‘we are no longer trusted by the electorate… we are set to lose the next General Election’.

But in response, one MP told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I will quit the party if Jeremy Hunt or another Remainer is leader.’

Conservative MPs have warned they will quit the party if Jeremy Hunt (pictured) becomes leader

One insider said Mr Hunt made a ‘mistake’ by being the first to openly move against the Prime Minister, adding that the former Foreign Secretary only did so because he was advised that another leadership hopeful, Penny Mordaunt, was going to quit as a Minister on Monday.

Although she did not publicly support the Prime Minister on the day, International Trade Minister Ms Mordaunt did not quit or say she would vote against him.

Mr Hunt, who came second to Mr Johnson in the 2019 leadership contest, admitted at the time that his Remain vote was ‘a hurdle we couldn’t overcome’.

However, he has since convinced himself that his views on Brexit are no longer politically toxic.

Jeremy Hunt is seen leaving his London home riding his bike, the morning after Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a confidence vote

Former Treasury Minister Jesse Norman’s letter attacking the Government’s record ahead of the confidence vote has been accused of being part of a ‘Cameroon plot’.

One MP said Mr Norman’s letter echoed arguments recently made by former PM David Cameron’s friends, including attacking the policy of sending migrants to Rwanda. The MP added: ‘That Cameron faction is trying to make out we are going in a fascist direction – which is utter nonsense. They are trying to wind everyone up.’

When Mr Norman published his letter, a Cabinet Minister told colleagues: ‘It’s all the ‘Cameroons’.’

MPs are concerned that Mr Cameron’s allies are working alongside Theresa May’s supporters in Parliament to try to bring down the Prime Minister.

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