More Conservative MPs break cover to call for a mini budget U-Turn

Some three weeks on from Chancellor Kwarsi Kwarteng’s mini budget, a whole host of senior Conservative MPs have now gone public to call on the government to reverse its plans to reduce taxation paid from increased borrowing.

The emerging public criticism from Conservative MPs follow comments by Liz Truss yesterday at prime minister’s questions in which she said she was committed to current levels of public expenditure.

With the scale of the proposed increase in borrowing worrying financial markets, a report by the Institute of Financial Studies this week suggested that the government needed to make either £62 billion of spending cuts or tax rises to avoid national debt growing as an ever larger proportion of the economy.

Writing on Twitter, the Conservative Chair of the Commons Treasury Committee, Mel Stride MP wrote, “Given the clear government position expressed today on protecting public spending there is an emerging question.  Whether any plan that does not now include at least some element of further row back on the tax package, can actually satisfy the markets”.


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Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 ‘PM’ programme, the former deputy prime minister, Damian Green last night quoted John Maynard Keynes to reference that when the facts change, it was sensible to change one’s mind.  In response to the economic and political situation, Mr Green called for some of the government’s proposed tax cuts to be “deferred”.

Mr Green’s comments were then backed up by David Davis MP, who referenced a number of proposals in the mini budget that might be changed.  Speaking on the ITV Peston programme, Mr Davis said, “I couldn’t understand why they did the stamp duty thing.  That is an inflationary tax”, adding in relation to corporation tax that, “I think they might want to look back at the Rishi Sunak proposal of the super deduction”.

Further evidence of Conservative tension is the fact that the editor of Conservative Home, a Conservative supporting website, has now been pennedIn this article, he openly discusses the idea of a leadership change.  He asked the question whether Rishi sunak might now be back as Chancellor and Penny Mordaunt may become prime minister.  His article is important due to the site’s popularity among Conservative party members, activitsts, and others.

However, one Conservative MP supported the government. Bob Seely whose previously safe Isle of Wight seat risks being lost to Labour under current opinion polls suggested that ‘most’ Conservative MPs agreed with the government’s policies.  Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Mr Seeley said, “I respect all my colleagues very very much but I would politely say to them there is no plan B, plan B is a Labour government, so we have to make this work”.

Last night, the prime minster was subject to a tough grilling behind closed doors at a meeting of 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs.

Today Liz Truss will meet with individual Conservative MPs in Downing Street. She hopes to ease their concerns and gain support for her premiership.