Rishi Sunak’s crisis as No 10 insider gives ‘summer election’ verdict | Politics | News

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Rishi Sunak has been urged to hold a summer general election – out of fear that the PM may not last until autumn, according to an insider. There is growing panic inside No 10 Downing Street that Mr Sunak could be ousted from office before a general election expected to take place in the second half of this year.

This comes amid fevered speculation about the number of letters of no confidence lodged against the PM. The threshold to remove trigger a vote on removing the Tory leader is 53 MPs.

Some of Mr Sunak’s closest advisers in Downing Street have told him to go to the polls as early as June. The mood inside Downing Street is reportedly growing bleaker by the day.

Earlier today official figures confirmed that the UK economy went into recession at the end of last year, dealing a blow to Mr Sunak’s attempts to reassure Tory MPs that the economy is turning around.

Also this week, leading pollster Sir John Curtice gave Labour a 99 per cent chance of forming the next government. There is panic among Tories over the threat from Reform UK with the party on the brink of overtaking the Conservative as the second-biggest in Wales, according to a new poll from Redfield and Wilton.

To add to the turmoil, two loyal Tory ministers, Robert Halfon and James Heappey, quit the government in a double blow to Rishi Sunak.

The pair join a growing exodus of Conservative MPs from the Commons, bringing the number of Tory MPs quitting at the next election to 63.

Tim Montgomerie, a prominent former Tory adviser, exposed the crisis behind the scenes in No 10. He revealed that a source in No 10 told him Mr Sunak was openly questioning his suitability as PM to advisers in Downing Street.

Mr Sunak reportedly told No 10 advisers: “Am I not very good at this? Why isn’t anything happening?”

Keir Starmer launched Labour’s local elections campaign earlier today, and surprised many by praising the ambition behind Boris Johnson‘s levelling up policy.

It is understood that May’s local election results, which are expected to be bruising for the ruling party, could intensify the anger among Tory MPs.

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