Tory MPs reacted with fury today after allies of Liz Truss launched a vitriolic attack on former minister Sajid Javid.
Amid rumors that he was the prime minister’s first choice to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, sources told the Sunday Times that she thought he was a “s**t” after years of working with him in cabinet.
They also suggested that Mrs Truss “laughed out loud” at the idea of Mr Javid returning to No 11 after he was sacked by Boris Johnson in 2020.
Mr Kwarteng was sacked on Friday over the mini-budget and replaced the same day by Jeremy Hunt, a former foreign secretary.
But the attack on Mr Javid drew criticism from other Tory backbenchers.
Education committee chairman Robert Halfon today said the attack was “disgusting”.
He told Sky News: “The briefings that have come out using four letter words to describe Sajid Javid, I know him from university, he’s a really good guy, he was well respected.
“He didn’t crash the economy when he was chancellor and if the prime minister wants to unite the party and get people around him then this kind of negative peer briefings have to stop.”
Amid rumors that he was the prime minister’s first choice to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, sources have told the Sunday Times that she considers Sajid Javid a “m***” after years of working with him in cabinet
Education committee chairman Robert Halfon today said the attack was “disgusting”, saying Mr Javid was a “good and decent man”.
And former chief secretary Mark Harper said: “Sajid Javid is a good colleague and although we have supported different candidates in the leadership election, I am proud to call him a fellow Conservative.”
“All he’s doing is bringing disharmony into the party when what the prime minister should be doing is doing everything he can to bring people together, bring the country together.”
And former chief secretary Mark Harper said: “Sajid Javid is a good colleague and although we have supported different candidates in the leadership election, I am proud to call him a fellow Conservative.
“A briefing without 10 nasty insults to *own* colleagues does the Conservative Party no good when we should be working together.”
It comes amid reports today suggesting that Ben Wallace, the respected defense secretary, is being lined up as a possible prime minister, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor.
Questions still hang over the government over whether it will be able to win enough support from a divided party for a series of painful tax and spending decisions that have already brought back memories of the austerity era under David Cameron and George Osborne.
In a media blitz over the weekend, both Mr Hunt and Ms Truss tried to win over their own party and voters to the new Downing Street regime.
After completing several interviews on Saturday, the new chancellor will later appear on Sunday on BBC One with Laura Kuensberg.
Ms Truss, who used an op-ed in The Sun newspaper to admit the sacking of her friend and ideological soulmate Mr Kwarteng was a “wrench”, said: “We cannot pave the way for a low-tax economy and high growth without maintaining market confidence in our commitment to sound money.”
Mr Hunt, writing in the Telegraph, said the Government was “changing course”.
His appointment has so far failed to quell speculation of an impending coup against Ms Truss.
Rishi Sunak, the defeated leadership contender and former chancellor, and Wallace are among the names mooted as potential replacements.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told LBC on Saturday that for Mrs Truss it all depends on how markets accept the fiscal plan at the end of the month.
While he said he believed Mr Hunt could right the ship, he warned that if “he fails to satisfy the markets and everybody else and the economy is still in shambles, then I think we’re going to be in a very difficult situation “.
Elsewhere, there was speculation that including the Defense Department in any round of spending cuts could cause a clash with Mr Wallace.
A defense source said he would hold Ms Truss to her promises.
Mrs Truss has pledged to increase defense spending to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030 after the war in Ukraine.
However, the prime minister still has his defenders in the party.
Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, a staunch follower of Boris Johnson, wrote in the Daily Express: “The sad truth is that those planning to drive the Prime Minister out of Downing Street are the same conspirators who plotted to get rid of Boris. They will not rest until they have anointed their chosen leader into power.