Liz Truss overtakes Rishi Sunak as Tory members’ favourite to succeed Boris Johnson

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·2-min read
Liz Truss overtakes Rishi Sunak as Tory members’ favourite to succeed Boris Johnson
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  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019
  • Liz Truss
    Liz Truss
    British Conservative Party politician (born 1975)
  • Rishi Sunak
    Rishi Sunak
    Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom (born 1980)

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has become the favourite to succeed Boris Johnson among Conservative party leaders, a new poll has found.

Just over 23 per cent of Tory party members would like to see the Foreign Secretary become prime minister, compared to 20 per cent who wished to see Chancellor Rishi Sunak take the reins.

The poll of 786 members, conducted by Conservative Home, found trade minister Penny Mordaunt is third-favourite to take over on 8 per cent.

It reflects a significant jump in popularity for Ms Truss among party members. In the same poll in August, she was backed by just 12 per cent of Tory members, with Mr Sunak on 31 per cent.

Ms Truss, who became foreign secretary after a cabinet reshuffle in September, has also taken on the role of chief Brexit negotiator following the resignation of Lord Frost earlier this month.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is the Tory members’ favourite to take over as leader (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is the Tory members’ favourite to take over as leader (PA Wire)

Tory sources say Ms Truss has also been hosting private meetings with MPs over champagne – dubbed ‘fizz with Liz’ - at the Mayfair private members club 5 Hertford Street. MPs have also set up a “Liz for Leader” WhatsApp group.

Ms Truss underwent a transformation from being pro-Remain to an avid Brexiteer following the referendum in 2016.

Rumours of a leadership challenge have intensified after Boris Johnson faced the most turbulent two-month period of his premiership, with a series of scandals denting his party’s lead in the polls.

The introduction of Plan B restrictions sparked a considerable rebellion among Tory backbenchers, with nearly 100 Conservative MPs voting against the Government earlier this month.

Mr Johnson also faced fury amid allegations that Downing Street staff held a Christmas party in December last year in contravention of lockdown rules.

Allegra Stratton, the prime minister’s former spokesperson, was forced to resign after leaked footage was published by ITV News which showed her appearing to laugh about the alleged party with other aides.

The latest national poll, conducted by Focaldata for the Sunday Times, gave the Labour party an eight-point lead over the Tories.

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