Bridgen: Polls have rattled the Tories
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Andrew Bridgen confirmed that Conservative MPs are keeping a nervous eye on the party’s plummeting polling numbers, with recent polls showing the Labour Party with a thirty-point lead. Mr Bridgen stressed Liz Truss was taking time to consult with Tory MPs in a bit to shore up support within the party amid continuing backlash over Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.
Mr Bridgen told GB News: “The polls have rattled the Conservative Party.
“When you start seeing polls with the Labour Party thirty points ahead, there is a feeling that the damage done to the party is self-inflicted.
“Obviously members of Parliament and our members out in the country are looking for reassurance.
“I think the Prime Minister realises her position so she has offered a lot of consultation with regard to what is going to be in the next economic statement by the Chancellor.
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“So there will be a lot of consultation with backbenchers next week to ensure whatever measures are in there, the Prime Minister can actually get them through Parliament.”
Ms Truss faced growing pressure on Thursday from MPs within her own party to rethink tax-cut plans that sent markets into turmoil, with one ally saying it would be a “disastrously bad idea” to oust her a month into the job.
Truss’s economic package, announced last month, has caused a rout in the government bond market, with some investors and Conservative Party lawmakers calling on her to reverse a plan for £43 billion of unfunded tax cuts, including a move to hold corporation tax at just 19 percent.
The government has said it will stick to most of its tax cut plans while also protecting public spending, but economists and critics say something has to give.
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On Thursday, foreign minister James Cleverly shied away from confirming or denying whether the government would retain its corporation tax policy, saying only it was important to keep businesses competitive.
“The chancellor will come to the despatch box,” he said when asked by Sky News whether the corporation tax plan would definitely stay. “I think it’s absolutely right that we’ve made it clear that we want to invest in businesses.”
There has been vocal criticism of the government’s overall plans from within the Conservative Party as polls show its support has collapsed.
Newspapers reported that some lawmakers who never wanted Truss to replace Boris Johnson as leader in the first place already wanted her out.
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“I think that changing the leadership would be a disastrously bad idea, not just politically but also economically, and we are absolutely going to stay focused on growing the economy,” Mr Cleverly said of the Prime Minister.
Ms Truss was elected in September by Conservative members on a promise to snap the economy out of years of stagnation by cutting taxes and reforming areas such as planning, migration and employment.
But a fire-sale in the government bond market has driven up borrowing costs and mortgage rates and forced the Bank of England to intervene to protect pension funds.
“I can see only one outcome: the withdrawal of most of the mini-Budget,” Paul Goodman, editor of the influential ConservativeHome website said.
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