Truss warned by Tory MPs she has just DAYS to save her premiership
Kwasi Kwarteng is ‘very bright’ says Greg Hands
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Liz Truss has been warned she has just days to save her job as rebellious Tory MPs plot ousting the Prime Minister. After just five weeks in office, criticism of the Conservative leader are already holding talks on how to ditch the South West Norfolk MP.
Tory whips have warned Ms Truss she risks a leadership challenge if the economic statement set to be delivered by Kwasi Kwarteng on October 31 does not ease the panic in financial markets.
Late last night the Chancellor cancelled meetings in Washington DC where he was attending a summit of the International Monetary Fund in order to jet back to the UK.
It is thought chose to leave the US early in order to hold talks with Ms Truss on U-turn on elements of the mini-budget set out in the Commons in September.
Just hours before he dramatically chose to leave Washington, the Chancellor refused to rule out altering his economic approach.
He told broadcasters yesterday: “Our position hasn’t changed, I will come up with the medium-term fiscal plan on the 31st of October, as I said earlier in the week, and there will be more detail then.”
The Spelthorne MP added he was focused on “making sure that we get growth back into our economy”.
Explaining the sudden return to the UK, a Treasury spokesperson said: “After completing a successful series of meetings at the IMF, the Chancellor is returning to London today to continue work at pace on the medium-term fiscal plan”.
Meanwhile, international trade minister Greg Hands insisted this morning that it should not be seen as a surprise that Mr Kwarteng had altered his travel plans.
“It’s not unusual to come back a day early from an international visit,’ he told Sky News.
“The major meat of the meetings of the IMF and World Bank have finished.”
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Conservative backbenchers have warned that the October 31 economic plan is Ms Truss’s last chance to regain control.
A former Cabinet minister told the Daily Mail: “It is all about the statement on October 31 now – she has got days to turn things around, that’s all.
“She is going to have to reverse the mini-Budget and she is probably going to have to sack Kwasi.
“Even then it might not be enough if she can’t regain the confidence of the markets.
Kwasi Kwarteng declares he's 'not going anywhere'
“The worry is that she still appears to be in denial about how bad things are.”
Meanwhile, The Times is reporting that Tory grandees are preparing to replace Ms Truss with a joint ticket of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, who fin imbed second and third in the Tory leadership contest this summer.
One MP said: “Rishi’s people, Penny’s people and the sensible Truss supporters who realise she’s a disaster need to sit down together and work out who the unity candidate is.
“It’s either Rishi as Prime Minister with Penny as his deputy and Foreign Secretary, or Penny as Prime Minister with Rishi as Chancellor.”
Yesterday Mr Kwarteng rejected suggestions he and Ms Truss were at risk of being toppled.
He told broadcasters: “I’m not going anywhere.”
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