Liz Truss

So what are the prime minister’s options now?

ROLLING case studies in chaos.

Crises engulfing the government by the hour.

It seems near impossible that this chaos can be bottled and buried.

An implosion feels imminent.

The dysfunction is too profound, the outrage among Conservatives too loud for any sense of serenity to return.

A prime minister who had already shredded her programme for government and sacked her first chancellor, then, in just one day, loses a home secretary, a senior adviser is suspended and then for hours – yes, hours – her team cannot say whether two other senior figures have walked too.

A weak government had tried to turn a routine vote into a show of strength, and then bottled it, illustrating their weakness.

Ministers were humiliated. Backbenchers were confused.

And for an entire evening, neither Downing Street nor senior ministers had the faintest idea whether the chief whip and deputy chief whip were still in their jobs.

Tory MPs cannot believe what they are witnessing. What is happening in their name.

I’ve been speaking privately to a very senior Conservative whose analysis was so brutal it left me open-mouthed.

Liz Truss’s actions have been “unforgivable,” “terrible” and “appalling”.

“She has stuffed the party, the country, and there’ll be a general election.”

“How could she act like a little dictator without a mandate?”

So, what could the prime minister do next?

She could wake up and decide the game’s up.

I should say there is no indication she is about to do that.

She could be told by her party the game’s up.

The level of discontent within it is huge.

Or she could attempt to continue.

Those still supportive point out, rightly, that finding an alternative prime minister is difficult and even if this is pulled off it will be seen as absurd to many around the country.

The argument for a general election will be deafeningly loud, and why on earth would any Tory MP want an election given how massively unpopular they appear to be, according to opinion polls?

But the life expectancy of a young government already deeply in peril is currently shortening by the day.

The chaos might yet multiply. –

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