Backlash ensues after Simon Clarke calls for Rishi Sunak’s resignation

A senior Tory MP has urged his party to replace Rishi Sunak as prime minister or risk a “massacre” in the upcoming general election. Sir Simon Clarke, a former cabinet minister, made these remarks in a recent op-ed for The Telegraph, claiming that the Conservatives have lost vital voters due to a lack of boldness on immigration.

However, other ex-ministers critiqued his article, with former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel accusing Sir Simon of engaging in “facile and divisive self-indulgence.” Similarly, former Brexit Secretary Sir David Davis stated, “The party and the country are sick and tired of MPs putting their own leadership ambitions ahead of the UK’s best interests.”

These comments come amidst growing discontent within the party over Sunak’s leadership. Last week, 61 Conservative MPs voted to amend the Rwanda Bill, a flagship legislation aimed at deterring migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats. This marked the largest rebellion faced by Sunak during his premiership.

Despite the internal dissent, Minister Kevin Hollinrake expressed confidence in Sunak, stating that the “vast majority” of Conservative MPs believe Sunak is the right person to lead the party. In addition, he credited Sunak with turning the economy around and reducing the number of migrants crossing the Channel.

This recent wave of discontent is part of the ongoing political turmoil in the UK. Since the 2019 general election, the Conservative Party has seen three different prime ministers, leading to a sense of gloom among its members. Sunak’s repeated attempts to gain political advantage have failed to improve the party’s standing, with polls suggesting they are trailing behind the Labour Party by 18 points.

The impact of this turmoil has historical implications, with Sir Simon cautioning that if the poll numbers hold true, it could result in significant losses for the Conservative Party, comparable to the 1997 election. This could further dismantle traditional Tory strongholds, adding to the growing concern within the party’s ranks.

As the party grapples with internal divisions and its electoral prospects, the call for Sunak’s replacement has intensified. Conservative MPs can only trigger a leadership election by submitting a letter of no confidence signed by at least 53 MPs to the chair of the 1922 Committee.

The party now faces a pivotal moment, with the decision to retain or replace Sunak likely to have significant consequences for its future. As the Prime Minister’s leadership continues to face scrutiny, the Conservative Party finds itself at a critical juncture, with its next steps poised to shape the course of British politics for years to come.

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