West Midlands defeat for Tories fires starting gun on future of the party


Andy Street’s interview with Sky News fired the starting gun for discussion over the future direction of the Conservative Party.

But the battlefield immediately proved to be the Conservative WhatsApp group, also leaked to Sky News.

There are two big conclusions about the leaks

There are two Tory MPs publicly prepared to call on Rishi Sunak to go.

Simon Clarke repeated that call to colleagues this evening – but if there were sympathisers they did not show themselves. That may be linked to the second big conclusion

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‘Devastated’ Street refuses to blame Sunak after West Midlands defeat

That the leaked WhatsApps suggests there’s more of an appetite for a debate about whether the party goes next than about the leader.

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Street says the party must not ape Reform UK to its right flank, and others on the group agreed.

Meanwhile, Suella Braverman was out on Saturday night making the case for exactly that – pulling out of the human rights convention and tougher crime laws.

It appears the Conservative Party was watching Sky News – Sophy Ridge’s interview with Street being discussed in live time – references to “Coates” as I read out their messages – some disobeying messages which clearly never came my way.

But what is clear is that it is not plain sailing for the Tories from here. Things just got worse.

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