Senior Tory MP Simon Clarke has called on Rishi Sunak to stand down and warned that the party is facing an electoral “massacre.”
Clarke warned that the Labour is on “the brink” of running the country “for a decade or more” and said that if Nigel Farage “returns to the fray” then it is “looking increasingly likely” that “extinction is a very real possibility” for the Tory party.
The senior Tory MP said that the Prime Minister is not “solely responsible for our present predicament,” however Sunak’s “uninspiring leadership is the main obstacle to our recovery.”
Writing in the Telegraph Clarke said, “The unvarnished truth is that Rishi Sunak is leading the Conservatives into an election where we will be massacred.”
The Telegraph article added, “I know many MPs are afraid another change of leader would look ridiculous.
“But what could be more ridiculous than meekly sleepwalking towards an avoidable annihilation because we were not willing to listen to what the public are telling us so clearly?
“A change of leadership would not have to be a protracted affair. As was planned in October 2022, the contest need only take a week.
“Two days of MPs voting, a few more days before an online members’ vote.
“Which is worse: a week of chaotic headlines in Westminster, or a decade of decline under Keir?”
The former Brexit Secretary Sir David Davis hit back saying that the public are “sick and tired” of MPs putting down the leadership.
Sir David said, “The party and the country are sick and tired of MPs putting their own leadership ambitions ahead of the UK’s best interests.
“It is really about time these people realise they have a duty to the country that is greater than their personal leadership ambitions.”
Former home secretary Dame Priti Patel said: “At this critical time for our country, with challenges at home and abroad, our party must focus on the people we serve and deliver for the country.
“Engaging in facile and divisive self-indulgence only serves our opponents, it’s time to unite and get on with the job.”
Former defence and trade secretary Sir Liam Fox also came to defend Sunak, he said, “This is not the time for self-indulgence and tribalism in the party.
“Those who have an agenda to destabilise the government in an election year should understand the consequences.
“Having been on the front bench for all 13 years in opposition, it is a miserable place. Be warned.”
Labour’s shadow paymaster general, Jonathan Ashworth, said: “This is a failing, divided government incapable of gripping problems facing the country from the cost of living crisis to state of the NHS.
“More proof that after 14 years it’s time for change. Only Labour has a plan to turn the page and get our future back.”
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “It is utterly ludicrous that the Conservative Party is even discussing installing a fourth prime minister without even giving voters a say.
“It’s time for Rishi Sunak to… call a general election.”