Therese Coffey Urges Tory Right To Unite Behind Liz Truss In Leadership Race

Work and pensions secretary says supporters of Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman should lend their votes to the foreign secretary.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss leaving Millbank Studios in London. Picture date: Wednesday May 18, 2022.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss leaving Millbank Studios in London. Picture date: Wednesday May 18, 2022.
Kirsty O'Connor via PA Wire/PA Images

Right-wing Tory MPs should throw their weight behind Liz Truss instead of Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman in the race to succeed Boris Johnson, one of her allies has declared.

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey said Truss has “the full package in terms of experience [and] grittiness”.

Truss came third in yesterday’s first ballot of Tory MPs, behind Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak.

Badenoch and Braverman - seen as Truss’s main rivals for the support of the Tory right - came fourth and sixth respectively.

Coffey told Sky News: “The reason why I think that supporters of Suella and Kemi should come and join Liz is because a lot of their policies are in a very similar direction, about having a free economy, about making sure we stand up for the United Kingdom and be proud of our country.”

She added: “I think we’ve got a great range of talent in our Conservative party and in our Conservative government, and I know that Penny is an assiduous person, but I am supporting Liz Truss because I think Liz has the full package in terms of experience, grittiness in terms of delivery, and that’s why I’ll be supporting her.”

Truss, who will officially launch her leadership campaign today, has told the right wing of the party that they need to “unite” behind her or they risk splitting the vote and allowing Mordaunt to “exploit their divisions”.

International trade minister Mordaunt is shaking up the race with a momentum that has seen her win approval from Tory grassroots members, who will ultimately pick the next leader and prime minister.

A recent YouGov poll showed Mordaunt is now the clear favourite for leader among Conservative members, with 27 per cent saying they would favour her as Johnson’s replacement, with former minister Badenoch second on 15 per cent, and Sunak and Truss tied on 13 per cent.

The second round of voting by Tory MPs will take place between 11.30am and 1.30pm, with a result announced at 3pm.

There will be more rounds of voting until only two candidates remain.

Tory members will then vote, with the winner being declared on September 5.


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