Tories eye-up IDS as potential interim leader as 'contrition' contest looms

Tories eye-up IDS for interim leader as 'contrition' leadership contest looms

Tories eye-up IDS for interim leader as 'contrition' leadership contest looms

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 07/07/2024

- 18:08

Updated: 07/07/2024

- 20:24

A leadership contest looms after Rishi Sunak’s Tories were reduced to just 121 MPs

Sir Iain Duncan Smith is being earmarked as a potential interim Tory leader as MPs hope to hold a lengthy “contritition” contest to select Rishi Sunak’s successor, Conservative insiders have told GB News.

The Conservative Party look set to hold yet another leadership contest after Sunak’s Tories were given a damning verdict from voters on July 4.

Labour entered power after winning 412 seats, with Reform UK costing dozens of Conservative candidates and returning five MPs.

The situation, made worse by a Liberal Democrat surge in the Blue Wall, leaves Conservative figures pondering about what direction to take the party in ahead of 2029.

Tories eye-up IDS for interim leader as 'contrition' leadership contest loomsTories eye-up IDS for interim leader as 'contrition' leadership contest loomsGETTY

Duncan Smith, who surprised many after being returned as the MP for Chingford & Woodford Green with a shock majority of 4,758 votes, was named as a potential interim leader to bring unity during a leadership contest.

The former Tory leader is seen by many as a steady pair of hands and could prove useful if Sunak wants to return to the backbenches during a lengthier race for his successor.

A top Tory source told GB News: “I think we should do a long leadership contest and have IDS for the time being as a proper grown up. He’s well-liked across the party and very respected.”

Former special adviser James Price added: "Sir Iain Duncan Smith should become interim leader of the Conservative Party and lead the party to selecting a new chairman of the 1922 and selecting the rules for the ensuing leadership contest."

Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Sir Oliver Dowden and former Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have also been named as potential interim leaders.

Rishi SunakRishi Sunak delivered a speech outside Downing Street and said he would be stepping down POOL

Despite being ousted from No10, Sunak is still leader of the Conservative Party.

However, the Richmond & Northallerton MP is only reportedly keen on staying on for a couple of weeks before opting to handover to a caretaker successor as Parliament breaks up for summer.

Speaking after the Tories' crushing defeat, Sunak revealed he would step down as party leader “once the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place”.

The timetable will not be determined until a new chairman and executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs are in place.

Iain Duncan Smith, Member of Parliament leaves after the Conservative conference.Iain Duncan Smith, Member of Parliament leaves after the Conservative conference.GETTY

Veteran MPs Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Bob Blackman are the early favourites to replace the retired Sir Graham Brady as the 1922 Committee’s chairman.

However, leading members of the Tory Party believe a lengthier leadership election will help Conservatives come to grips with the public’s verdict on July 4.

A Tory source said: “Only once they’ve diagnosed what went wrong and shown contrition in a leadership contest, can the Tories begin to be in a position to win voters over who supported Reform.”

The Conservative Party slumped to its worst result since 1906, facing annihilation at the hands of a resurgent Reform UK.

Rishi SunakRishi Sunak was grilled by a representative audienceGB NEWS

A record-number of Cabinet Ministers were ousted from the House of Commons, with the Tories also facing wipeout in leafy Oxfordshire.

Despite Reform UK making inroads across Brexit-backing England and Wales, the Liberal Democrats also left a major dent in the so-called Blue Wall.

The situation allowed Labour to romp to a landslide victory with 412 seats.

However, Starmer failed to add much to Labour’s vote share compared to his successor Jeremy Corbyn in 2019.

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman spoke about her leadership ambitions with GB News on Sunday


Despite the disastrous result, Sunak has stressed he will remain an MP until at least 2029 amid speculation the former Prime Minister could jet off to California.

Tony Blair stepped down when he left No10, with David Cameron leaving the House of Commons just weeks after losing the UK’s in-out referendum on EU membership.

Boris Johnson remained Tory leader until his successor was selected, later leaving Westminster ahead of a damning report by the privileges committee about partygate.

Potential long-term leadership contenders for the top job include Tom Tugendhat, Robert Jenrick, Kemi Badenoch, James Cleverly, Priti Patel and Suella Braverman.

Speaking about her potential leadership Braverman told GB News: “I’m having lots of conversations with colleagues. I’m very flattered and very encouraged by what people are saying to me.”

You may like

{% if and %} {% elif %} {% endfor %}