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The Conservative Party plays down the scheme to substitute UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with Penny Mordaunt

Credits: Daily Express

Senior Tories have moved to dismiss reports of a potential plot within the Conservative Party to replace Rishi Sunak as UK prime minister with Penny Mordaunt before the upcoming general election.

A source close to House of Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt rejected the idea of an organized effort to elevate her to party leadership, dismissing such claims as “nonsense.”

Conservative former minister Andrea Jenkyns, who has advocated for a leadership change before the election, denied that right-wing MPs were rallying behind Mordaunt. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a former business secretary, labeled the notion as “madness.”

Conservative Party Members (Credits: Evening Standard)

Amid growing concerns among Tories about their electoral prospects, reports surfaced suggesting that MPs on the right of the party met with moderates to discuss supporting Mordaunt in case of a no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

The speculation intensified following a challenging week for Sunak, during which he faced criticism over his handling of racist comments attributed to a major party donor, as well as the defection of a deputy chairman to the Reform UK party.

While Mordaunt has not commented on the claims, allies indicated that she is focused on her ministerial responsibilities. Jenkyns took to Twitter to express skepticism about reports of center-right Conservative MPs pushing for Mordaunt’s leadership candidacy, stating that none of her colleagues had heard of such efforts.

Conservative Party Members (Credits: The Times of Israel)

The uncertainty surrounding Sunak’s position grew amid concerns about the government’s polling figures and its handling of recent controversies. However, a No 10 source emphasized the prime minister’s focus on implementing his agenda to improve the country’s prospects.

The heightened tension comes as Sunak ruled out an early general election, opting instead to aim for a later date in 2024. Several Tory MPs have announced their intention to step down, prompting speculation about potential electoral challenges from other parties.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey expressed optimism about his party’s prospects in Conservative-held constituencies, citing a positive response from voters across various regions. He highlighted the party’s belief that it can defeat many Conservative MPs in the upcoming election.

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