(AARON CHOWN/PA)

In a significant development, former Cabinet Minister Sir Simon Clarke has publicly called for Rishi Sunak’s resignation, adding to the growing dissent within the Conservative Party. The prominent Tory, a key supporter of Liz Truss, expressed his demand for a new Prime Minister after a recent survey indicated a steep decline in the government’s popularity, plummeting to just 20 percent.

Despite Sir Simon’s call for change, he faced criticism from fellow MPs who labeled the idea of a fifth Prime Minister since 2010 as “crazy.” Many within the party rallied around Rishi Sunak, dismissing the demand for a leadership shift as ill-timed, especially in an election year.

Sir Simon, who served as the Levelling Up Secretary and is known for his affiliation with Liz Truss, articulated his concerns in a public statement published in the Telegraph. He emphasized the “devastatingly obvious” signs indicating a looming defeat for the Tories, pointing to recent polling that suggested a potential 1997-style wipeout, told Sky News.

In his critique, Sir Simon highlighted issues such as mass immigration, slow economic growth, and a lack of house-building as contributing factors to the Conservative Party’s perceived decline. He asserted that Rishi Sunak’s appeal had transformed from an asset to a liability, pointing out a substantial lag behind Keir Starmer in popularity metrics.

Attempting to rally support for a leadership change, Sir Simon urged fellow Tory MPs to join him in demanding a shift at the top. He presented the choice as a pivotal moment for the party, suggesting that sticking with Sunak would lead to electoral consequences and grant the Left a free hand to reshape Britain.

Sir Simon becomes the second Tory MP, following Dame Andrea Jenkyns, to openly call for the Prime Minister’s resignation. However, Tory leadership swiftly condemned Sir Simon’s critique as self-indulgent and aimed at undermining the government during a critical period.

A Senior Tory spokesman dismissed Sir Simon’s statements as a self-indulgent attempt to sow discord, emphasizing that his actions only benefited Sir Keir Starmer. Veteran Tory MP David Davis characterized the situation as “silly,” criticizing MPs for prioritizing personal ambitions over the country’s best interests.

Former Cabinet Minister Liam Fox cautioned against self-indulgence and tribalism within the party, highlighting the consequences of destabilizing the government during an election year. The internal strife within the Conservative Party comes on the heels of 60 MPs challenging party policies on migration last week.

Despite the internal discord, opposition parties seized the opportunity to highlight Conservative infighting. Labour’s Pat McFadden focused on serving the British people, while the Lib Dems criticized the discussion of installing a fourth Prime Minister without giving voters a say as “utterly ludicrous.” The ongoing turmoil underscores the challenges and divisions within the Conservative Party as the country heads toward a crucial election.

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