Senior Scottish Tory tells Truss to quit if she cannot turn things around quickly
THE SCOTTISH Tory finance spokesperson has told crisis-hit Liz Truss she must quit as Prime Minister if she “cannot turn this around” within days.
The warning from the senior Conservative MSP comes as Ms Truss appears to have been abandoned by the Tory activists who appointed her Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister survived a meeting of the Cabinet without any ministers calling for her to quit, but Tory members and voters appear to be turning on her.
A snap poll of party members released as she held a crunch meeting of her Cabinet on Tuesday saw more than half respond that she should resign and 83 per cent say she was doing a bad job.
The survey of 530 members by YouGov on Monday and Tuesday saw 55% say she should resign, and only 38% back her staying on.
And 39% of those who voted for Ms Truss in the Tory leadership race said she should quit, compared to 57% who said she should not.
Some 83% said she was doing badly as Conservative leader, compared to just 15% who said she was doing well and 2% being unsure.
Boris Johnson, three months after he was forced to resign after a series of scandals, was favourite with members to succeed her on 32%, with former chancellor Rishi Sunak second on 23% and then Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in third on 10%.
Some 60% said they would back a proposal of a unity candidate to succeed Ms Truss being chosen without members having a say.
The poll is not large enough to be considered representative of the wider membership, but YouGov’s research has frequently given a good indication of its mood in the past.
A separate YouGov study of 1,724 British adults between October 14 and 16 – before Monday’s mini-budget U-turns – saw Ms Truss’s net favourability plummet to minus 70.
Just 10% of Britons had a favourable opinion of the Prime Minister, with 80% viewing her unfavourably, the survey suggested.
Earlier, Ms Truss was warned by a senior minister that she cannot afford to make any more mistakes as she battles to stay in No 10.
Armed forces minister James Heappey said: “She’s very much our Prime Minister and, for what it’s worth, I think she’s doing a good job.”
But he told Sky News that “given how skittish our politics are” at the moment “I don’t think there’s the opportunity to make any more mistakes”.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesperson, Liz Smith, has suggested that Ms Truss should step aside if she cannot turn things around within days – warning the Prime Minister is in “very grave difficulty”.
The intervention from the senior Scottish Tory comes after leader of the party north of the border, Douglas Ross, gave his full support to Ms Truss and her government on Monday.
Speaking to STV, Mr Ross added: “I back the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and this Government to do what it promised to do – to get growth back into our economy.
“There’s now a different direction of travel but the ultimate destination has not changed.”
But speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Tuesday, Ms Smith said she was frustrated the Prime Minister “has not been able to command the confidence of the nation”.
She added: “She can’t command the confidence of the general public, of colleagues and of the markets.
“There’s been a little improvement on the market scenario to be fair, but she’s got days left to turn this round and if she can’t do that I think she needs to stand down.”
Ms Smith recognised she had supported many aspects of the chaos-hit mini-budget that cost Mr Kwarteng his job.
But she said she had assumed it would be costed and published alongside an Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast – which it was not.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the new Chancellor had “basically undone everything that Liz Truss said she was going to do” as leader.
He said Tory MPs have “got to make a decision” on whether to “put their party first or their country first”.
On Tueday night, Ms Truss told Tory MPs of the Brexit-supporting European Research Group (ERG) that she stood by the legislation on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
ERG chairman Mark Francois told journalists after the meeting: “She was absolutely committed to see a robust outcome regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Very, very clear about that. Remember that she, when she was foreign secretary, was involved in toughening up that legislation.”
Mr Francois said the meeting had been “positive”.