'We Don't Care What David Frost Thinks' – Tory MP Tears Into Unelected Lord

The Conservative Party's civil war is on full display with MPs, Lords and party members tearing chunks off each other.
Simon Hoare and Lord Frost
Simon Hoare and Lord Frost
Parliament / Getty

A Tory MP tore into “unelected” Lord Frost today, telling him they do not care what he thinks about the leadership race.

Simon Hoare, Conservative MP for North Dorset, described the Brexiteer as a “failed” minister following his interventions in the Tory election.

Frost and other members of the Tory right are trying to rally MPs around foreign secretary Liz Truss in the battle to become the next prime minister.

Penny Mordaunt is seen as the candidate to beat in order to ensure Truss gets into the final two - when they hope she will go on to beat Rishi Sunak.

Former Brexit minister Frost has urged right-wing candidate Kemi Badenoch to withdraw from the leadership race and back Truss in order to unite the party’s right around one candidate.

He has also launched an attack on Mordaunt, claiming she “wasn’t fully accountable or always visible” when she served as his deputy in talks with Brussels.

“To be honest, I’m quite surprised she is where she is in this race,” he told TalkTV on Thursday. “She was my deputy – notionally more than really – in the Brexit talks last year.”

Truss, Sunak, Mordaunt
Truss, Sunak, Mordaunt

Frost claimed that sometimes he did not “even know where she was” and had to ask the PM to move her on and find somebody else to support him.

However, his interventions have sparked a backlash from MPs including Hoare who slapped him down for ordering MPs around.

Hoare tweeted on Friday: “I don’t wish to be rude BUT who the hell is an unelected, failed minister to tell any MP what to do?

“For some unknown reason David Frost perpetually thinks we give a flying XXXX what he thinks. We don’t and we won’t.”

Sunak, Mordaunt, Truss, Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat are all still in the running to be the next prime minister.

However, Mordaunt’s surge among MPs, placing her currently in second place, has concerned right-wing Tories who fear one of their own will not make the final two.

Frost said Badenoch should row in behind Truss in return for a “serious job” in her administration.

Writing for The Telegraph, he said: “It is now time for pragmatism. I urge Kemi to stand down in return for a serious job in a Truss administration.”

The Sun reported that this argument had sparked a backlash among MPs who do not like being told what to do in a private ballot.

After Tory Mark Francois messaged in the European Research Group WhatsApp group urging them to back Truss, MP Lee Anderson replied saying he was “really disappointed”.

Anderson added: “I suspect colleagues will make their own minds up based on what they feel is best for our party.”

Meanwhile, Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer said Badenoch “actually supported Brexit” and that she “represents the best chance for many of us of holding our seats”.

It comes as Mordaunt faces sustained attacks from rival camps trying to oust her from the race.

Former cabinet minister David Davis, a supporter of Mordaunt, has even called out “black ops” being directed at her.

Rail minister Wendy Morton, who is backing Truss, told Times Radio she was “absolutely not” involved in any kind of untoward campaign.

One of Mordaunt’s backers, Tory MP Dame Maria Miller, was asked whether Mordaunt could fall victim to dirty tactics.

She told Sky News: “Penny’s support among members of parliament has grown, and that is the same throughout the country.

“This leadership contest is run along a set of lines and I think people will want it to be a positive campaign.

“We’re colleagues, together, we’re not opposing each other in a fundamental political sense. It is just about getting a new leader.”

The five remaining candidates will take place in a TV debate tonight at 7:30pm on Channel Four.

Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Rishi Sunak, Tom Tugendhat.
Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Rishi Sunak, Tom Tugendhat.
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