Conservative party members should have had a vote on Rishi becoming PM says former Chairman Jake Berry

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Former Conservative Party Chairman Jake Berry has opened up about the final few days in the office of Liz Truss, a period which saw him become centre stage in one of the most dramatic periods in recent political history.

Speaking to Gloria De Piero on GB News, Mr Berry said: “I went to see her on that Sunday morning and I told her that I thought, following the mini budget, that we had real problems with colleagues.”

According to Mr Berry, Liz Truss asked him to effectively set up a war room in No 10 starting on the following Monday morning.

“So, we set up that war room, and effectively all decisions that were made came through that group, which was me, the Prime Minister, the Chief Whip, and the Deputy Prime Minister.” 

But Mr Berry said the most “extraordinary” moment came after Ms Truss’ resignation when he found himself having to remind civil servants it wasn’t their job to pick the next leader. 

He recalled: “I was actually speaking to the Local Government Association in central London, when I was pulled away from that to go into the Treasury. And I arrived to talk to Jeremy Hunt, who quite rightly was concerned about the instability for the economy, about losing a Prime Minister and how that Prime Minister would and could be replaced. 

“What I found just extraordinary, is when I arrived at the meeting to talk to him, there were two of the most senior civil servants in the Treasury who spent fifteen minutes talking to me about why there could be no long, protracted leadership election in the Conservative Party. At the end of it, they said: ‘Well do you agree?’. 

“And I said, ‘Well, I hope you don’t mind me saying I don’t really think it’s any of your business, as civil servants, about how political parties choose their leader, that’s a matter for political parties’. 

“I actually think it’s a great pity for Rishi Sunak that we didn’t have a vote of members.  I support him as Prime Minister in everything he does. The challenge he has, even if it’s not true, is there’s a perception the Conservative Parliamentary Party is now disconnected from our membership, because we didn’t have that endorsement vote for Rishi.”

However, a poll conducted in October by the Conservative Post shows 90% of party members would have voted for Boris Johnson to be back in No 10 had they been given the opportunity to vote.

The Conservative Post’s poll was emailed to 10,000 confirmed party members which is the largest database of members outside of Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ). The poll showed only 5.6% of party members would have voted for Rishi Sunak. 

Click here to see the poll results.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a lifelong member I view the whole affair a disgrace. When are we going to be able to have a government we can trust? The present shower show no ability to deal with problems and pursue the the ideal s of Brexit?

    • I completely agree with Joan. I genuinely fear for Brexit, our party and our country with the current choice of government ministers.

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