German TV host repeats alleged quote from Deputy Chief Whip
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Liz Truss has resigned as Tory leader after a chaotic 44 days in office, with a new prime minister expected to be in place by the end of next week. She signalled the end of the shortest term by any prime minister following a botched financial statement, the loss of two of her most senior Cabinet ministers and an open revolt by Tory MPs. Ms Dittert revealed that the former Prime Minister’s deputy whip Craig Whittaker was left feeling “f****** furious” about her performance.
Ms Ditter told Tagesschau: “You really can’t call it anything else anymore. This is a government that is clearly no longer capable of acting and these chaotic scenes here last night have made it clear to everyone that Liz Truss is simply no longer in control of the situation and her party.
“There was manhandling in the lobby, where the votes are cast. Government members are said to have physically pulled other Tory MPs into the right box.
“Then suddenly it was said that it was not a three-line whip, although this had been announced beforehand, whereupon the deputy leader of the parliamentary group left the parliament with the words ‘I’m fucking furious and I don’t fucking care anymore’.
“I won’t translate that now, but this is a party where all discipline has really broken down.”
The Tories will now scramble to find a replacement who will become the third leader in two months.
Labour demanded a general election, while Tory leadership hopefuls were assessing their chances of taking over.
A little over 24 hours after insisting she was “a fighter, not a quitter”, she stood at a lectern in Downing Street and said she had informed the King she was resigning as Tory leader.
She said she recognised she “cannot deliver the mandate” which Tory members gave her a little over six weeks ago when she replaced Boris Johnson.
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Her announcement followed talks with the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives, Sir Graham Brady, where it became clear she could not hope to carry on.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by husband Hugh O’Leary, said a short leadership contest “will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security”.
“I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”
Her decision to resign will trigger a scramble among Tory leadership contenders who will face a daunting task to revive the party’s fortunes.
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was quick to rule himself out as he focuses on calming the financial markets, while Michael Gove will also sit out the contest.
Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, viewed as a potential leadership contender after coming third among MPs in the last contest, said she would “keep calm and carry on”.
Sir Graham said the process could be concluded by October 28 so the new leader can be in place in time for a crucial financial statement on October 31 which is intended to reassure the City of London that the Government has a plan to repair the nation’s finances.
He said there was an expectation that Tory members would be involved in the process but “I think we’re deeply conscious of the imperative in the national interest of resolving this clearly and quickly”.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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