'Rishi Sunak is not good at politics and he needs to go,' writes Bill Rammell

'Rishi Sunak is not good at politics and he needs to go,' writes Bill Rammell

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Bill Rammell

By Bill Rammell

Published: 23/03/2024

- 12:00

Former Labour MP Bill Rammell calls time on Rishi Sunak's stint in Downing Street

The latest bout of fevered speculation about Rishi Sunak’s future surfaced last weekend with reports suggesting MP’s were lining up Penny Mordant to replace Sunak.

Now, there is no doubt that Sunak is a woeful Prime Minister. He is weak, and lacking in vision and authority. He comes across as tetchy, petulant and entitled. He demonstrates very poor political judgement such as refusing for 24 hours to describe the biggest Tory donor as racist for his shocking and appalling comments about Diane Abbot, before caving in.

Bluntly, he is not good at politics, failing to cut through and get a hearing from voters.

Every relaunch - the Tory Party conference, the autumn statement, the King's Speech, the budget - has failed to reduce Labour’s huge 20 per cent poll lead.

Rishi Sunak could be replaced by Penny Mordaunt or Kemi Badenoch

Rishi Sunak could be replaced by Penny Mordaunt or Kemi Badenoch


And Sunak’s authority is shot. Penny Mordant could have killed the story of being lined up to succeed Sunak with an on-the-record rebuttal. She chose not to. Collective Cabinet responsibility has completely broken down. A week after the budget, Grant Shapps called for massive increases in defence spending, equivalent to 2/3rds of the school's budget, and Sunak said or could say nothing.

And the staggering weakness of Sunak’s position was laid bare when incredibly on Monday, No10 briefed that Mordant couldn’t be leader because she was going to lose her seat - a seat with a 16,000 majority!

So, certainly Sunak should go.

And Mordant or Badenoch would be more popular with Tory members. Conservative Home has Mordant at +55.3 per cent and Badenoch at +50.1 per cent compared to Sunak at -23.1 per cent.

But the Tory plight is about more than the leader. Labour’s huge poll lead shows profound dissatisfaction with the Tory Party.

Polling Guru John Curtess said: “Penny Mordant would find it very, very difficult to turn around opinion polls if she became party leader.”

Rishi SunakRishi SunakPA

But more than whether a new leader would help the Tories, they are delusional if they think they can get away with changing PM again without an election. The 4th PM in 5 years! This is the stuff of a Banana Republic.

And the arrogance is breathtaking. “We’ve screwed up again, whose turn is it now to have a go as Prime Minister?”

People are exasperated with the never-ending Tory psychodrama.

And I believe replacing Sunak would be a tipping point. There would be unstoppable public demands for an immediate General Election.

So, Sunak is dreadful as Prime Minister. But it’s not just him. The Tories can’t run from their record.

Austerity and cuts in public services that even Thatcher didn’t dare. Because the Tories are conning us through their budgets and there are 17.5 per cent cuts baked into the public finances in future years in non-protected areas - Social Care, Local Government, Transport, Housing.

Penny MordauntPenny Mordaunt is reportedly tipped to replace Rishi Sunak by Tory rebelsPA

Over 40 years of peace, opportunity and prosperity in Europe have been thrown away through Brexit.

Boris Johnson (a man totally unfit for high office, which the Tories knew) repeatedly lied to us all, as was exposed by a Tory-controlled parliamentary committee. Mad Liz Truss’s kamikaze budget made us all poorer. Both these clowns enabled by the Tory Party.

And the carnage of the last 14 years.

Economic growth is significantly poorer than under Labour. Even worse if you measure GDP per head. Because the Tories have let immigration rip- 3 times higher than under Labour - the economy has not grown since the start of 2022. The worst performance since 1955.

We’ve had the lowest wage growth in 50 years - 3 per cent in real terms over 14 Tory years compared to 27 per cent in real terms over 13 Labour years.

The highest tax burden since WW2.

So Sunak is dreadful, but to paraphrase Clinton’s advisor: “It’s the Tories stupid”.

Ben Wallace, former respected Tory Defence Secretary was right this week: “Its too late to change. They need to march into gunfire.” And take what’s coming to them, as he might have added.

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