Britain stands on the brink of a national breakdown, after Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister this lunchtime, following a turbulent 44 days in office during which her Mini-Budget crashed the markets, she sacked both her Chancellor and Home Secretary and she lost the confidence of most Tory MPs.
GAVIN BARWELL, right, the former Conservative MP for Croydon Central, this morning posted a Twitter thread with his advice for his erstwhile colleagues
Everyone I’ve spoken to from all wings of the party agrees the Truss government is finished, but there is no consensus on who should take over. The rows over Brexit and the removal of Boris have left deep scars.
If we are agreed that the Truss government has been a disaster, can we also agree that it should not be someone who supported Liz’s campaign and served in her Cabinet when it agreed the “Mini-Budget”?
There are some good people in the current Cabinet who should play important roles in what comes next – Penny Mordaunt and Ben Wallace being obvious examples – but they are implicated in what has just gone so wrong.
We need someone who was on the right side of the argument.
Now we come to the hardest question. Can we also agree that it shouldn’t be Boris Johnson? There is no doubt that we would do better under Boris Johnson than if we stick with Liz Truss, but the Boris of today is not the Boris of 2019. We would still lose badly.
By the end of his time in No 10, 70per cent of voters wanted him gone. The Privileges Committee hearings are about to start with lots of witnesses. If you reinstate him, it would just further toxify the image of the Conservative Party.
Can we finally agree that recent events underline that being Prime Minister, particularly in current circumstances, is an incredibly tough job, and that we should therefore value experience, proven judgement and above all seriousness above who we ideologically agree with?
If we can agree on these points then I think that leaves us with three candidates: Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove. I realise some in the party aren’t very keen on any of these options, but I believe the reasoning that lies behind this shortlist is sound.
The question is whether it is possible by giving senior roles to people like Penny Mordaunt, Ben Wallace and Kemi Badenoch to put together a team that all of you can support, even if the team captain isn’t everyone’s first choice.
If you can’t do that, if personal ambition and the wounds of recent disagreements mean you are collectively incapable of providing the government this country needs at a time of crisis, then there should be a general election.
Time to make your minds up.
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