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Rishi Sunak's Leadership Faces Turbulence as Conservative Party Conference Unfolds

Wednesday, October 4, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces growing disunity within his Conservative government, setting the stage for radical factions to emerge as the party prepares for an upcoming General Election.

This internal discord, which Sunak aimed to quell when he assumed leadership last year, resurfaced at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England. Key members of Parliament, including Liz Truss, Britain's shortest-serving prime minister, voiced their discontent with Sunak's leadership. Faction leaders even called for donors to withhold funds until significant reforms are enacted.

This rebellion comes as the Conservatives face tough competition from the leading Labour Party in opinion polls. The party infighting will likely overshadow Sunak's leadership in the run-up to the expected election next year.

Truss, known for her Reagan-esque policies and brief prime ministership, attracted attention at the conference by criticizing Sunak's policies and advocating for immediate tax cuts. Truss retains substantial support among party members, with at least 60 MPs joining her Conservative Growth Group, posing a potential threat to Sunak's governing ability.

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel, among the rebel members, declared that the party was at a crossroads and accused Sunak of undermining their ability to govern.

This internal strife also aligns with public sentiment, with opinion polls showing Labour maintaining a 20-point lead over the Conservatives. High inflation, falling living standards, and ongoing industrial disputes have eroded the Conservative brand. Recent strikes by medical professionals and train workers further illustrate the growing discontent.

In his closing conference speech, Sunak is expected to outline new policies to regain support both from the electorate and within his party. However, the Conservatives face a significant challenge in reversing their struggling public image, with two-thirds of voters considering it time for a change and a substantial portion viewing Sunak as out of touch, according to IPSOS research.

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