Tory MPs have demanded that Rishi Sunak sacks two of his most senior Cabinet ministers amid demands for a complete overhaul of his Government.
Within hours of losing Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire, and Somerton and Frome in Somerset, both of which the Tories were defending majorities of around 20,000, MPs have sent messages making it clear they want changes to Mr Sunak’s Government.
While Conservatives are celebrating a surprise victory in Uxbridge, most people believe it was a result of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ policy rather than a vote of confidence in Sunak’s Government.
Mr Sunak is expected to have a reshuffle of his ministerial team either today or when Parliament returns in September and Mr Gove and Mr Hunt are now the top targets for Tory MPs fed up of green policies and tax rises.
Express.co.uk has received a number of briefings from MPs making it clear they are prepared to push the Prime Minister into changing his Chancellor and Communities Secretary.
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A senior former minister said: “We’ve still got over a year to turn this around, but if we want optimism and conservatism that means clearing out people like Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.
“They’ve spent so many years pretending to be Conservatives whilst basically being useful idiots for the statist Whitehall blob.
“These high tax, high spend, high regulation policies of decline are annoying people who want politics out of their life so that they can get on and start making things and getting on in life.
“Let’s build houses, free people from tax and political vanity projects like net zero, let’s defund all woke, and let’s reform the Bank of England so it can’t keep printing money for all these unproductive things, causing the inflation it’s designed to stop.
“If we don’t do this, we really don’t stand a chance of getting anything over a couple of hundred seats next year.”
A senior Brexiteer Tory backbencher added: “It doesn’t surprise me that we lost so heavily.
“Gone are the days of optimism and conservatism. The party is now captured by Gove, Hunt and Keegan’s statist, Whitehall knows the best mindset.
“They’ve had their chance and what they’re offering is deeply unpopular and clearly not getting us out of the economic mess we’re in.
“It’s declinist and we need conservatives in positions of power, not bland technocrats.
“It’s time to actually build some houses, cut some taxes, delay unproductive net zero policies and stop printing money. Otherwise, we won’t even get 200 seats next year.”
Many put the record defeats in Selby which has always been a Tory seat and Somerton where there was a 55 percent swing to the Lib Dems, down to the “betrayal” of Boris Johnson.
Mr Gove in particular has been fingered for playing a key role in that and then bringing down Liz Truss.
A former Cabinet minister messaged Express.co.uk: “These results are an ugly reflection of the antics of the Conservative Party in Westminster who put themselves before the British people.
“Backstabbing, selfish, undemocratic – the public told Sunak and his gang exactly what they thought of them.”
Another senior Brexiteer and former minister concluded: “Uxbridge was good but, overall, the results were not great really.”