Senior Tory MPs have called for unity around Liz Truss after a fractious party conference was marred by bitter infighting and blue-on-blue attacks.
Fresh criticism was sparked on Wednesday evening amid reports the Prime Minister had dropped the services of a key campaigner behind the 2019 general election victory.
Lee Cain, the former No 10 Director of Communications under Boris Johnson, called the decision a “monumental error”, adding: “Isaac Levido and Michael Brooks spearheaded the best election campaign in decades”.
Senior MPs have pleaded for the party to put aside their differences and to “speak with one voice” to the voters.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, and former Cabinet minister David Davis issued the appeal as the Prime Minister faced the prospect of more revolts, including if she rejects benefits rising with inflation, when Parliament returns next week.
Sir Geoffrey told Andrew Marr’s LBC show: “I’ve just been appalled this week by the lack of discipline in the party. And if we’re not united as a party, we can’t expect the public to believe in us.
“And we, particularly the Cabinet, should speak with one voice - whatever government policy is, they should speak with one voice and we’ve had too many forked tongues this week”.
Former Brexit Secretary Mr Davis urged Ms Truss to work more closely with backbench MPs.
If our party splits into pieces, we will have no hope at the next election. We have to pull together. The country faces massive challenges and meeting them demands unity. To achieve that unity, the front bench must take care to consult closely with their backbench colleagues. pic.twitter.com/SgnuwBuhBJ
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMP) October 5, 2022
He tweeted: “If our party splits into pieces, we will have no hope at the next election. We have to pull together.
“The country faces massive challenges and meeting them demands unity. To achieve that unity, the front bench must take care to consult closely with their backbench colleagues.”
In her speech to Tory party conference, Ms Truss vowed to get the country through “stormy days", and pledged to take on what she called the “anti-growth coalition".
She admitted that her economic plans, marked by £45bn in tax cuts and undermined by a chaotic U-turn over aboloshing the top rate of tax, would cause disruption.
However she said in her speech, that was interrupted by climate protesters, that “the status quo is not an option" and “we must stay the course”.
Ms Truss now faces a battle to overturn polling showing a significant lead for the Labour Party.
According to polling expert Sir John Curtice, ten opinion polls show Labour currently has an average 25 point lead over the Conservatives.
The Conservative Party’s fortunes were dealt a fresh blow on Wednesday evening by a YouGov poll showing support for the Tories in Scotland collapsing amid dissatisfaction with the ‘mini budget’.
The poll for the Times newspaper showed the Scottish Conservatives were attracting the lowest levels of support for almost eight years, with Scottish Labour gaining on the back of the collapse.