Sunak on shaky ground over concessions to rebels, say senior Tories
Senior Tories have privately voiced fears about a slew of concessions made by Rishi Sunak to rebels on planning, the environment and online safety, suggesting counter-rebellions may have to be organised.
Several former ministers have suggested they are worried about Sunaks strategy and said the prime minister could find himself trapped between two wings of his party. Potential flash points include the retained EU law bill, the economic crime bill and the finance bill after the spring budget.
One warned that Sunak would risk seeing counter-rebellions emerging that could reignite old party tensions if the same concessions were seen on other issues such as Brexit, taxation or planning.
We cannot have a situation where the prime minister is so frightened of his own party that 30 colleagues can get him to change his mind about anything, one former cabinet minister said.
Another former minister, a supporter of Sunak, said the prime minister was on shaky ground because he derived his mandate from Conservative MPs, rather than the party or from the electorate. Losing a vote is effectively a confidence thing, they said. Relying on Labour votes to push anything through starts to raise all sorts of questions.
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