Liz Truss humiliated as Hunt orders her to cull friends and Brexiteers from government


    Jeremy Hunt has told Liz Truss to sack her friends and political allies in a brutal reshuffle, has been told. The move means only Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt would definitely survive the chop in the Cabinet as Mr Hunt moves to take control of the Government.

    Senior Tory MPs have told it is “now common knowledge” that Mr Hunt is organising a reshuffle of Ms Truss’ ministerial team.

    While the Prime Minister has to agree the moves many fear she is now too weak to say no.

    One minister said: “She is so weak now that she will do everything Jeremy [Hunt] tells her so.”

    The Prime Minister was criticised after taking over from Boris Johnson for “only appointing her friends and allies” instead of reaching out to supporters of Rishi Sunak in the leadership race.

    But the collapse in the markets following her ill-fated mini-budget forced her to ditch her first choice as Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and replace him with Mr Hunt.

    Since then Mr Hunt has ditched almost all her tax cutting promises and has embarked on plans to cut government spending in all departments to make up for a budget black hole of getting on for £100 billion.

    But in the latest move to restore confidence in the Government and order in the Tory Party it is understood that Mr Hunt is now organising a full reshuffle.

    Many of the 2019 MPs who got their first ministerial jobs after supporting Ms Truss such as Red Wall MPs Dehenna Davison and Jacob Young.

    But bigger fish will also be in the firing line including Ms Coffey, the Prime Minister’s closest friend in Parliament, and a series of senior allies.

    It is understood that Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch who was the darling of the leadership contest, chairman Jake Berry and Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith are all under threat as the right of the party is purged from the top table.

    Even Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Education Secretary Kit Malthouse could go.

    In cabinet today there were furious clashes over Mr Hunt’s planned cuts and it is understood that Mr Malthouse told him plans to slash school spending were “outrageous”.

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    The reshuffle could spark a full civil war in the party with Brexiteers effectively sidelined from government.

    A Brexiteer said that the reshuffle “will guarantee there is no coronation but a full on leadership contest.”

    A minister noted: “This is part of the coup. They remove all the Prime Minister’s friends and allies, move in Rishi [Sunak]’s people and then force her to go.”

    The potential reshuffle was being discussed this evening by Tory MPs.

    One senior backbencher said: “Hunt’s spad (special advisor) has been openly telling people there is going to be a big reshuffle.

    “It’s humiliating for the Prime Minister but she only has herself to blame for handing control of the party over to the wets.”

    Another MP said: “Colleagues have literally been messaging Hunt and his people begging to keep their jobs or get jobs. It’s really demeaning.”


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    A former minister said: “This is the sort of humiliation than nobody can come back from.”

    MPs have told that “virtually all” Ms Truss’ cabinet are facing the axe with the one known exception of Ms Mordaunt.

    One MP said: “It’s a bloodbath.”

    The move allows for a return for Rishi Sunak to the Government and Michael Gove among others who opposed Ms Truss in the leadership contest.

    A senior member of the European Research Group of Brexiteer Tory MPs said: “I sometimes despair of this party.”

    A source close to Mr Hunt declined to comment.

    It is understood Ms Truss has been presented with a list of changes and is working through them.


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