Truss under pressure to reshuffle cabinet days after sacking her chancellor

Truss under pressure to reshuffle cabinet days after sacking her chancellor

Liz Truss is facing calls for a cabinet reshuffle just days after she brutally sacked her chancellor in a bid to save her premiership.

The prime minister has faced furious criticism for firing ministers who backed her opponent Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership contest.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock led calls for a reshuffle on Sunday, saying Ms Truss had to bring the breadth of the Conservative Party “into her government”.

His comments came as Jeremy Hunt insisted that Ms Truss had “changed” and listened to criticism following the party’s disastrous mini-Budget as he urged Conservative MPs not to oust her from office.

The new chancellor, who on Saturday took the axe to her economic strategy by confirming tax rises and public spending cuts were likely, warned that voters would not reward the party for further instability.

Mr Hunt got the job after Ms Truss brutally sacked her first choice for the post, Kwasi Kwarteng, in a bid to stem the fallout from his economic plans that rocked the markets and caused the value of the pound to plummet.

She also announced a major U-turn on her flagship plan to cut corporation tax.

But Mr Hunt suggested that the changes went deeper.

He told the BBC: “She’s listened, she has changed. She has done the most difficult thing in politics, which is to change tack.”

But behind the scenes MPs are plotting different ways to remove her from office. They fear that not acting would further damage the party’s economic credibility and see it hammered at the next general election.

“She can’t lead us into the next election, everyone knows that, it is just whether she goes in the short term or the long term,” one senior MP told The Independent.

Another senior Tory, Robert Halfon, stopped short of calling on Ms Truss to quit but did launch an attack on the government, calling for an apology and a “dramatic reset” in the next few days.

He told Sky News: “I worry that over the past few weeks, the government has looked like libertarian jihadists and treated the whole country as kind of laboratory mice on which to carry out ultra, ultra free-market experiments. And this is not where the country is. There’s been one horror story after another.”

Asked if Ms Truss should lead his party into the next election, he said: “At this time, I’m not calling for the prime minister to go. I worry about further political instability, but even more economic instability. But things have to improve.

“Because if things don’t change, I just think that perhaps things may not be able to carry on in the way that they have been.”

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