Liz Truss will tomorrow promise a new era of growth and try to reset her already faltering premiership, just 24 hours after the Tory party descended into all-out civil war at its annual conference.
The Prime Minister suffered another damaging day as very public splits emerged within her cabinet, backbench MPs briefed against her and one ex-cabinet minister said the party will soon move to replace her if things don’t improve.
Truss will vow to maintain “fiscal responsibility” in her speech tomorrow and to overturn the economic record of the past three Tory Prime Ministers, after a week that has damaged her credibility within the party.
“For too long, our economy has not grown as strongly as it should have done,” she is expected to say.
“For too long, the political debate has been dominated by how we distribute a limited economic pie. That is why I am determined to take a new approach and break us out of this high-tax, low-growth cycle.
“Whenever there is change, there is disruption. Not everyone will be in favour. But everyone will benefit from the result – a growing economy and a better future. That is what we have a clear plan to deliver.”
Polling for the Conservatives has slumped to its lowest levels against Labour in more than 30 years, with a series of surveys putting Truss’ party between 25 and 33 points behind.
She is now facing a growing mutiny in the wake of her U-turn on a tax cut for the country’s highest income earners, with ex-transport secretary Grant Shapps saying MPs won’t “sit on their hands” if “the polls continue as they are.”
“A way would be found to make that change,” he told Times Radio.
One backbench MP told City A.M. “we actually may not be that far away from the men in grey suits taking soundings”, while another said it’s been a “bloody weird” conference.
The Prime Minister is also facing a lack of discipline from her own cabinet, almost all of whom supported her in the Tory leadership race, just a month after entering Number 10.
Home secretary Suella Braverman and housing secretary Simon Clarke both publicly hit out today at the U-turn by Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng on the abolition of the top 45p rate of Income Tax.
“I am disappointed by the subsequent reversal,” Braverman said
“I am disappointed that members of our party staged a coup and undermined the PM in an unprofessional way.”
Clarke tweeted that “Suella speaks a lot of sense, as usual”.
Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt and Welsh secretary Robert Buckland both freestyled on policy and called for benefits to increase in line with inflation.
Tory backbench MPs are already starting to rally against the suggestion of a real-terms cut to future benefits, after it was speculated that this was the chancellor’s plan.
Kwarteng told an event at the Tory party conference today that he believes in “compassionate conservatism”.
“We do have a duty to look after vulnerable people,” he said.