Rebels Told to “Rein Their F***ing Necks In, or F*** Off” mdi-fullscreen

The fallout from last night’s car crash 1922 Committee is still being felt in SW1 this morning. Last night’s scenes were, in the words of one MP close to Theresa May, worse than the worst 1922 meeting the former PM ever endured.

Rob Halfon accused the PM of having “trashed the last 10 years” of Tory reputation, and MPs either greeted Liz’s words in silence or vocal opposition – not least her continued blaming of current events on communication problems. Over the past 12 hours Guido has spoken to numerous MPs, both pro and anti-Liz, and the findings do not imply a happy family able to come together before the next election to defeat Keir Starmer…

Among the anti-Liz cabal (which, given one MP said, “everyone is on manoeuvers” is substantial) there are numerous plots about a coup. While Rishi’s name is obviously mentioned, Guido was astonished to find multiple MPs claiming Ben Wallace’s name is prominent among plotters, as the best option to calm the markets and unite the party. Though one points out there must have been a reason why he didn’t run in the post-Boris leadership election…

Other backbenchers are less actively plotting and merely mourning their careers. One backbencher openly mulled whether they should resign the whip; another pondered whether the party should just ‘give up’, citing Arthur Balfour’s government in 1905, which resulted in the 1906 liberal landslide and 246 Tory MPs losing their seats. Among all the options being mooted, a breakaway party is absolutely not on the cards. A Rishi-backing MP suggests Liz Truss should give Mark Reckless and Anna Soubry knighthoods for services to party unity…

Liz’s backers seem less willing to pro-actively spin for their leader, though they don’t hold back when prodded. One loyal MP Guido spoke to has a message for the briefing-loving rabble-rousers:

“Bitter Rishi supporters seizing on the fact that we had to move quickly to cap people’s energy bills, so didn’t have parliamentary time to work though, due to circumstances. They just want to f*** everyone over to prove their view that only Brownite economics can work. They’re more New Labour than Tory. They should rein their f***ing necks in, or f*** off. They lost because the Tory Party membership is not Brownite.”

Another loyal Liz minister said MPs just need to calm down and “get off Twitter”. Guido gently reminded this minister that ‘get off Twitter’ was exactly what Boris was telling the party just after this MP had put their letter in…

A loyalist tells Guido they believe the PM will survive “as her opponents only offer Labour policies”. While he may be right about the PM’s fortunes, it probably won’t be for the reasons they believe. A Rishi-backer lists concerns about looking like bad losers, as well as giving the government space “to own this sh*t” among reasons they aren’t currently moving. These considerations of moderation are tempered, however, with the eternal animalistic desire to “go tonto”. While 1922 rules notionally mean Liz Truss can’t face a vote of no confidence for 12 months, a former minister ominously warns “if enough want it, it will happen.”

One Tory MP also slammed Jake Berry for his part in the last fortnight’s events, accusing him of “going round like a bully” and warning that if senior figures want to try bullying backbenchers “they should expect by-elections”.

One final Liz backer ultimately blames the media for whipping up hysteria; “It’s a nothing story… the media are puffing their chests out. They’ve got rid of Boris and now they want to get rid of another Prime Minister.” Only Sir Graham Brady can know for certain… and possibly Grant Shapps.

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Ben Wallace Liz Truss
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