UK ministers urge Conservative colleagues to back under-fire PM Truss
Published: Oct 09, 2022 11:12 PM
Four ministers in Liz Truss' government on Sunday urged Conservative colleagues to back the embattled UK prime minister following a punishing week that exposed deep divisions within the party.

Interior Minister Suella Braverman, former finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and Environment Minister Ranil Jayawardena all wrote articles for Sunday newspapers warning that they would soon find themselves in opposition unless the party united quickly.

Braverman wrote in The Sun On Sunday, "Those working with Labour to undermine our prime minister are putting the Conservatives' chance of victory at the next election in real danger.

"So the choice for my colleagues and for us is as party is simple - Back Liz or get [Labour leader] Keir Starmer, hand-in-hand with [Scottish National Party leader] Nicola Sturgeon."

Zahawi wrote in the Mail that the government had made mistakes unrolling its fiscal policy, which led to a humiliating climbdown over a plan to cut income tax rates for the top earners. But he said "now is the time" to rally behind Truss, again warning that rebels risked ushering in a Labour government "propped up" by the Scottish National Party.

In a sign of her fallibility, cabinet ­ministers are reported to be joining forces to demand Truss rules out mooted plans to raise benefits in line with wages rather than inflation, The Sunday Times reported.

Former leadership rival Mordaunt was one of those who spoke out on the issue during the party conference. But she struck a conciliatory tone in a Sunday Telegraph article.

"All my colleagues have a part to play in delivering for the British people. Division will only play into the hands of those who would take our country in the wrong direction," she wrote.

Jayawardena meanwhile wrote in the Sunday Express that Tory MPs must "get behind" the PM. "We need to back Liz Truss - or get Keir Starmer in Nicola Sturgeon's pocket."