Sunak’s authority challenged as former minister calls for new leader

Simon Clarke said the Conservatives face an 'electoral massacre' under Rishi Sunak.

Rishi Sunak’s authority has been dealt a fresh challenge after a Tory former minister went public insisting that the party faces an electoral “massacre” under his leadership.

Sir Simon Clarke, who served in the Treasury while Sunak was chancellor, said “extinction is a very real possibility” with the Prime Minister at the helm.

Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “Rishi Sunak has gone from asset to anchor.”

Tory MP Simon Clarke
Simon Clarke said the Conservative Party faces the threat of extinction under Rishi Sunak.

The senior Tory said Sunak was not solely to blame for the party flagging in the polls during an election year, but insisted “his uninspiring leadership is the main obstacle to our recovery”.

“The unvarnished truth is that Rishi Sunak is leading the Conservatives into an election where we will be massacred,” he wrote.

Sir Simon was among 11 Conservative MPs who voted against the Prime Minister’s Rwanda Bill at its third reading earlier this month, despite Sunak seeing off a wider Tory rebellion.

The legislation survived the Commons hurdle after dozens of backbenchers demanding amendments to toughen the draft law largely backed down.

Downing Street has been contacted for comment.

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