By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 19 October 2022 • 22:30
Steven Gerrard sacked as manger of Premier League Aston Villa
Steve Baker told The Telegraph that he had seen Craig Whittaker, the Deputy Chief Whip, who told him that neither nor the Chief Whip Wendy Morton had resigned.
A source within Number 10 had also told the Telegraph that the two had not resigned.
It is not clear where the news originated from, but it was reported by the most trusted news networks in the UK which suggests where there was smoke there may well have been fire.
We will have to what transpires over the next few days to fully understand what happened tonight.
It comes on the back of news that the sixth MP had told Liz Truss she needs to go. The MP for Hazel Grove in Manchester explicitly called for Truss to quit. He told the Commons he had “lodged” a letter of no confidence.
He told MPs: “I cannot go and face my constituents, look them in the eye and say they should support my great party. And the polls seem to bear that out.”
Although he is only the sixth to publicly call for Truss to go, news channels are reporting many are voicing the same views but in private. Many have challenged her authority and others have said she is a prime minister in name only, but despite that, she has vowed to soldier on knowing that the party is powerless to remove her.
To do so would require a change to the party’s constitution or sufficient MPs and supports to negotiate her departure.
According to eyewitnesses MPs were manhandled and bullied into voting with the government to oppose a ban on fracking, despite this being a manifesto pledge.
The vote adds further intrigue to the reasons why the former Home Secretary Suella Braverman resigned, who did so saying that the government were not delivering on their manifesto and that she had concerns about the direction being taken.
Although the vote was said not to be a vote of confidence, it did result in the loss of her deputy and chief whip who had claimed it was.
Wendy Morton is understood to have resigned amid chaos over a vote on fracking, as has Craig Whittaker, her deputy.
The resignations came after Tory backbenchers Chris Skidmore, Angela Richardson and Tracey Crouch all suggested they were willing to lose the party whip by defying the Government in a vote on fracking tonight.
The whips are said to have likened the issue to a “confidence vote” in Truss, but a frontbench minister disputed that saying it was “not a confidence vote”.
In a move that brings one of her greatest critics, Truss will hope to quell some of the discord and unhappiness with her performance in the role of prime minister.
Shapps said after his appointment, it has been “a turbulent time” for the administration, but “the most important thing is to make sure that people of this country know that they have got security.
Speaking to reporters outside number 10 and following confirmation of his appointment he said: “It is a great honour to be appointed as Home Secretary today and I am looking forward to getting on with the job.”
Shapps wouldn’t be drawn on any policy issues nor any comments on the prime minister, simply batting these away by saying that he would: “refrain from commenting after 10 minutes in the job.”
He did, however, say that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had “done a great job settling issues relating to the mini-budget.”
Bringing Shapps into the fold Truss will hope, remove a thorn from her side with Shapps said to have been angry at her replacement of him after being elected leader.
She also said that she has “concerns about the direction of this government,” saying it had already “broken key pledges that were promised to our voters.”
She goes on to say that she is worried about “the government’s commitment” to the manifesto in general, including her key focus on reducing immigration numbers.
The statements come as many express concern that Truss is no longer in charge but is there in name only. It also adds credence to the call by opposition parties who say the government should now call an election.
Shapps, no stranger to controversy himself, is a former member of Boris Johnson’s government and backed Rishi Sunak in the race to be leader of the Conservative Party.
In her letter, she said: “As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the cabinet secretary.
“As home secretary, I hold myself to the highest standards and my resignation is the right thing to do.”
“The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes.
“Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics.”
It is understood that former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will be appointed to the role, however, there has been no official announcement as yet.
The news as reported by Sky News on Wednesday, October 19 is due to an “honest mistake” and “not over a policy disagreement.”
Braverman, who was only appointed 43 days ago by Truss had promised to use the law to deal with crime and migration, only to fall foul herself for breaking simple government security rules.
Her departure was described by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael as the latest in a “carousel of Conservative chaos.
“This is a government in chaos. People should not be forced to watch the Conservative party implode day after day while real people suffer.
“There is a cost of living catastrophe, health service crisis and now a rudderless Home Office.
“The only solution now is a general election so the public can get off this carousel of Conservative chaos.”
The departure comes as somewhat of a shock in a schoolboy error that should just not have happened at this level of government. Give Truss and Braverman their dues, for the first time in a long time the ruling party have dealt with a transgression in the manner it should have been.
Whatever your views, the UK home secretary getting her marching orders places even more pressure on the prime minister who is battling to get a grip on an ever-worsening situation.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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