No 10 says Liz Truss will continue beyond 31 October
Downing Street has denied that there is any change to Liz Truss’s plan to stay in No 10 beyond the fiscal plan on 31 October.
A spokesperson for the prime minister told reporters:
No plans for any change. The prime minister will continue beyond the 31st.
They added that Truss “acknowledges yesterday was a difficult day”. They said:
She recognises the public wanted to see the government focusing less on politics and more on delivering their priorities. That is also what the prime minister wants.
You saw her take action yesterday and make a number of difficult decisions. She ensured the public can take confidence in the importance of the ministerial code, she provided reassurance to pensioners worried about the rising cost of living. And she took further steps on safeguarding energy security.
She’s also working with the chancellor on delivering economic stability and growth.
The Guardian’s Pippa Crerar writes that sources in No 10 say the meeting between Liz Truss and Graham Brady was made at the request of the PM.
Downing Street confirms Liz Truss is meeting Graham Brady
Downing Street has confirmed that Liz Truss is currently meeting with the chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.
1922 Committee chair Graham Brady in No 10 to meet Liz Truss
Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee, has gone into No 10 to meet Liz Truss.
The One Nation group of Tory MPs have been meeting this morning to try to coalesce around a single successor to replace Liz Truss, Paul Brand from ITV News reports.
He writes that Jeremy Hunt was rejected vociferously by one MP in the meeting. Other names being discussed include Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, and do not include Boris Johnson or Suella Braverman, he adds.
In the course of 12 hours on Wednesday, multiple crises hit Liz Truss’s government which in normal times would have each individually caused a long-running scandal. Now they come so thick and fast, something that happened at 12pm is barely remembered by 7pm. Yet the prime minister clings on.
Just after noon, at PMQs the prime minister directly contradicted her new chancellor and said the “triple lock” on the state pension was safe. News broke that one of her most trusted and senior aides was suspended after a toxic briefing war in the Sunday papers.
Then without drawing breath, Truss sacked her home secretary, Suella Braverman, for a baffling row about an email address amid deadlock over their views on migration policy. Braverman sent back an excoriating letter about the direction of Truss’s government. Truss installed one of her most prominent critics, Grant Shapps, in Braverman’s place.
Tory MPs were also threatened with losing the whip if they voted with Labour on an anti-fracking motion. Then a minister wrongly said it was no longer a confidence vote. Many abstained. The chief whip resigned. Then by 1.33am the media were told it was a confidence vote after all. The chief whip had un-resigned. MPs who abstained have no idea – even by Thursday morning – whether they are still Conservative MPs.
Chaos like that was never seen even in the darkest days of the Brexit wars or Partygate. Truss is less than 50 days into her premiership.
So how is the prime minister still in post? Most MPs will tell you the situation is unsustainable, but it remains sustainable as long as they remain unsure about how to act.
Nadine Dorries: MPs ‘must demand return of Boris Johnson’
The Conservative former culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, has called for Boris Johnson to replace Liz Truss as prime minister if she is ousted from office.
There can be “no coronation of previously failed candidates” if Truss is no longer PM, Dorries wrote on Twitter.
MPs must demand return of Boris Johnson – if not it has to be leadership election or a GE.
Tory MP Crispin Blunt has called for Jeremy Hunt to take over as the next prime minister, after describing Liz Truss’s position as “wholly untenable”.
Hunt has “in a few short days impressively exercised his known personal qualities and has made the first critical contribution to restoring the primacy of serving the national interest”, Blunt wrote in a statement on his website.
Today’s position remains wholly untenable and I would be astonished if the prime minister herself did not recognise that. If she doesn’t those closest to her must tell her.
This pantomime around the leadership must stop now.
He added that “in the circumstances, for others to advance their own claims will only be a damaging self-indulgence”. He continued:
My parliamentary colleagues must put personal ambition and interest to one side and consider the wider interest over the next two years. The disingenuous explanation for Suella Braverman’s resignation and last night’s parliamentary team management must mark the low point in Conservative team performance, and we must set out to repair it now.
Hendon Tory MP Matthew Offord has also called on Liz Truss to go.
He told the Evening Standard:
I can’t see the situation being sustainable. She does need to sit down and discuss it with her cabinet and with others to manage some kind of dignified exit.
The Tory MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, has joined calls for Liz Truss to go.
In a statement, he said:
The prime minister has lost control of the government and the confidence of Conservative MPs. For the good of the country, she needs to resign.
The Conservative party should unite behind a candidate such as Rishi Sunak to replace Truss, he added. He said:
Rishi Sunak’s predictions about the disastrous consequences of Liz Truss’s policies have been proven right. We now need someone like him to step up to show that they can get a grip on the situation and lead from the front.
The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has been asking an urgent question in the House of Commons following Suella Braverman’s resignation yesterday.
The new home secretary, Grant Shapps, is not in the chamber. Labour’s question was instead taken by Brendan Clarke-Smith, parliamentary secretary for the Cabinet Office.
Clarke-Smith said Braverman had resigned after a “breach of cabinet confidentiality and the rules related to the security of cabinet business”.
The PM has made clear the importance of upholding high standards in public life and her expectation that ministers should uphold these standards.
Ministers only remain in office so long as they retain the confidence of the prime minister. She is the ultimate judge of the standards of behaviour expected of a minister and the appropriate consequences of a breach of those standards.
Braverman has “explained her decision to resign and to be clear the information that was circulated was subject to cabinet confidentiality and under live discussion within the government”, he said.
Cooper described the government as being in “total chaos” and that MPs were “fighting like rats in a sack” at last night’s Commons vote.
We’ve got the third home secretary in seven weeks. The cabinet was only appointed six weeks ago. The home secretary has been sacked, the chancellor sacked, the chief whip sacked and then unsacked… This is a disgrace.