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Rishi Sunak faces internal struggles amid chaotic Tory Election Campaign

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Rishi Sunak is facing significant internal challenges within the Conservative Party during the election campaign.
  • Key figures like Steve Baker and Zac Goldsmith have publicly criticized Sunak's policies and leadership.
  • The defection of MP Lucy Allan to Reform UK highlights the growing dissatisfaction within the party ranks.

Rishi Sunak's leadership of the Conservative Party is being tested like never before as he navigates a tumultuous election campaign fraught with internal dissent and public criticism. On the fifth day of the campaign, Sunak's efforts to regain control were overshadowed by a series of setbacks that highlighted the deep divisions within the party.

The day began with Northern Ireland Minister Steve Baker voicing his disapproval of Sunak's proposal to reinstate national service, a policy that has sparked considerable debate. Baker, who is defending the Labour target seat of Wycombe, chose to go on holiday to Greece instead of remaining on the campaign trail, a move that raised eyebrows and questions about his commitment. Baker's criticism was particularly stinging as he suggested that the national service policy was not a genuine party commitment but rather a creation of advisers. This sentiment was echoed by other party members who felt disconnected from the policy decisions being made at the top.

Adding to Sunak's woes, Conservative MP Lucy Allan announced her defection to Reform UK, a move that sent shockwaves through the party. Allan's decision to support the local Reform candidate in Telford was a significant blow, and the party's attempt to suspend her whip was met with her counterclaim that she had resigned first. Allan's defection underscored the growing dissatisfaction within the party ranks and the challenges Sunak faces in maintaining unity. Allan stated, "The Conservatives have no chance of winning in my seat," highlighting the bleak outlook some members have for the party's electoral prospects.

The situation was further complicated by Conservative peer and former minister Zac Goldsmith, who accused Sunak of damaging the party almost beyond repair. Goldsmith, who had previously resigned over Sunak's perceived lack of commitment to environmental issues, predicted that Sunak would move to the US if the Conservatives lost the election. Sunak responded angrily to Goldsmith's prediction, pledging to stay on and serve a full term as an MP. "I'm surprised at Lord Goldsmith, who I don't think I've spoken to in a very long time, has some intimate knowledge of my family's arrangements," Sunak retorted. "Of course not. My kids are at school, this is my home, and as I said earlier, my football team just got promoted to the Premier League."

Despite these challenges, Sunak attempted to project confidence and determination. During a photo opportunity in Chesham, he ignored questions about the defection and criticism from Baker, focusing instead on his commitment to the campaign. However, the internal strife and public dissent have undoubtedly cast a shadow over his leadership and the party's election strategy.

The chaotic fifth day of the election campaign has highlighted the significant hurdles Sunak faces in uniting the Conservative Party and presenting a cohesive front to the electorate. With key figures openly criticizing his policies and decisions, and defections undermining party unity, Sunak's ability to lead the party through this turbulent period remains in question. As the campaign progresses, it will be crucial for Sunak to address these internal issues and restore confidence among party members and voters alike.

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