Wendy Morton was still Chief Whip on Wednesday night after a day of chaos in the Commons, No 10 has confirmed.
Ms Morton and Craig Whittaker, her deputy, were understood to have quit following a shambolic vote over fracking which saw more than 35 Tory MPs defy the Government to abstain.
But Steve Baker, a minister at the Northern Ireland Office, told The Telegraph: "I saw the Deputy Chief Whip this evening and he advised me that neither he nor the Chief Whip have resigned."
On a dramatic day, Liz Truss also appointed Grant Shapps, a prominent backer of Rishi Sunak, as Home Secretary after Ms Braverman was sacked for sharing confidential information from her personal email account.
The move will be seen as an olive branch to her opponents on the Conservative backbenches, who have called for her to appoint a Cabinet that is more representative of the wider Tory party.
"Look, obviously it’s been a turbulent time for the Government," Mr Shapps told reporters. "But I think the most important thing is to make sure people in this country know they’ve got security."
Suggesting Ms Truss should follow her out of the door, Ms Braverman – who departed after just 43 days – wrote: "Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics."
It came amid chaos in the House of Commons as Chris Bryant, the Labour chair of the standards committee, claimed there had been "bullying" and "manhandling" of MPs during the division on a key vote on fracking.
While the Government won the vote, there were more than 35 Tory abstentions – including Kwasi Kwarteng, who was sacked as chancellor on Friday, and Boris Johnson, who is on holiday.
What a day. Throughout all the dramas of Brexit, Covid and the end of Boris Johnson’s premiership, it still feels as though there has been nothing on this scale.
No 10 was forced to confirm both the Tory Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip were still in their posts late on Wednesday night after hours of reports that they had resigned.
It came after Suella Braverman, a darling of the Conservative grassroots and backbench MPs, resigned as home secretary after sharing confidential information from a personal email account.
But Ms Braverman – who has been replaced by Rishi Sunak backer Grant Shapps, solidifying a significant shift in this Government towards the Left of the Tory party – was withering in her resignation letter, and suggested Ms Truss should also own up to her mistakes by resigning.
There were further reports of clashes in the Commons, accusations of "manhandling", and dozens of Tory MPs defying the Government to abstain on a Labour motion of fracking. And some senior members of her own backbenches privately called for Liz Truss to go tonight.
Join us again early tomorrow, when my colleague Jack Maidment will be guiding you through another unmissable day of drama in Westminster.
The fuse for Suella Braverman’s resignation was lit on Tuesday night when she had a heated face-to-face row with Liz Truss and Jeremy Hunt, her new Chancellor, over their demands to soften her stance on bringing down immigration, write Charles Hymas, Christopher Hope and Ben Riley-Smith.
Friends said the Home Secretary was appalled that they wanted her to announce a liberalisation of immigration to make it easier for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to say the Government would hit its growth targets – a key plank in Mr Hunt’s strategy to restore market confidence.
"Suella said, this is insane, why are we trying to appease the OBR? Is everything getting thrown out the window?" said one of her allies.
Just two weeks earlier, Ms Braverman had told the Conservative conference she was committed to the party’s 2019 manifesto pledge to bring down migration, and even resurrected Theresa May’s ambition of reducing it to "tens of thousands".
Read more: The fiery showdown that led to Braverman’s exit
Lord Frost told a live Telegraph event tonight he wasn’t surprised by Suella Braverman’s resignation – and nor would he be surprised if others were considering their positions.
The peer, who said he doubted Boris Johnson could be persuaded to make a political comeback, told a recording of the Planet Normal podcast the problem with the mini-Budget was that it was "too rushed" and her opponents seized the moment.
"Truss obviously has to go, you can’t be chosen on one prospectus and run on another," he said.
While Lord Frost used the word coup "hesitantly", he resented the fact the party had been "captured by people who appear to not believe what I believe".
"There are circumstances where Brexit can be lost, and to stop that happening we need to prove that we can use the levers of power effectively and we’re not at this time."
Let’s try to step above the chaos and the appalling situation in which our so-called "Government" now finds itself, writes Lord Frost.
A few weeks ago, I wrote on these pages, and in an essay for the think tank Policy Exchange, about Sir John Hoskyns’ famous report to Lady Thatcher in the late 1970s, known as "Stepping Stones".
In its very title, that report showed that no government could do everything it wanted to straight away. Instead, you set a direction and, step by step, you cross the river. Maybe you are going more slowly than you wish, but the crucial thing is that you are trying to get to the opposite bank. If it becomes obvious that you’re not trying to cross the river at all, you can’t expect your supporters to follow your lead.
That’s the situation the Government now finds itself in. As Suella Braverman made so clear this afternoon, the Government is implementing neither the programme Liz Truss originally advocated nor the 2019 manifesto.
It is going in a completely different direction. We are back to Osbornomics, the continuity Hammond view of the world. There is no shred of a mandate for this. It’s only happening because the Truss Government messed things up more badly than anyone could have imagined, and enabled a hostile takeover by its opponents.
David Frost: Why Liz Truss must leave – and soon
No 10 has finally confirmed Wendy Morton is still Chief Whip as of tonight after a chaotic few hours in which speculation abounded her and Craig Whittaker, her deputy, had both quit.
More to follow.
Liz Truss’s name has been added to the list of those who voted against Labour’s fracking motion tonight.
It appears to have been a technical error that meant she was shown as having not voted.
Maria Caulfield, the MP for Lewes, has added her voice to those of incandescent Tory MPs tonight.
"Tonight we are all Charles Walker," Ms Caulfield, who backed Rishi Sunak, wrote on Twitter, referencing Sir Charles’s diatribe on BBC News.
"All those people that put Liz Truss in No 10, I hope it was worth it," Sir Charles had said.
But Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary, weighed in with: "Much as I love Charles, he did call to have the most electorally successful Con PM in a generation removed.
"Actions have consequences that we can’t always control. Having helped to remove Boris, he should now back Liz because as much as anyone, he helped to put her where she is."
Steve Baker, a Northern Ireland minister, has claimed neither Wendy Morton nor Craig Whittaker have resigned, despite speculation on their departure, writes Tony Diver.
Mr Baker told The Telegraph: "I saw the Deputy Chief Whip this evening and he advised me that neither he nor the Chief Whip have resigned."
Mr Baker added that there had been "some controversy" over the fact that this evening’s motion had not been a motion of confidence in the Government but that both remain in post.
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee, is understood to have met with Prime Minister Liz Truss earlier today – their second private meeting in 72 hours, writes Christopher Hope, our Associate Editor.
I understand that the six officers of the 1922 committee are now due to meet again tomorrow to take stock.
The 1922 is being urged to lift the bar to say 150 no confidence letters before to Sir Graham before a no confidence vote can be held.
Ms Truss is currently protected from a second vote of no confidence until September next year.
In slightly more profane language than the above headline, Johnny Mercer – the former veterans minister – has tweeted to say Sir Charles Walker "nailed it" in his eviscerating description of the Tory Party in recent days.
Sir Charles appeared visibly emotional during a BBC News interview in which he said he hoped it had been "worth it" for backers of Liz Truss who he claimed endorsed her to secure ministerial positions.
Mr Mercer said on Twitter: "F— me, he’s nailed it. Every word."
An MP has just told Christopher Hope, our Associate Editor, that Liz Truss is now in the Whips’ Office in the House of Commons.
It is unclear if the PM has now received the resignation letters of her Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip.
This might be described as a "meeting without cocoa".
Sir Charles Walker’s BBC News interview tonight (see 7.52pm) has been clipped up by Labour and used as an attack ad tonight.
"This whole affair is inexcusable," Sir Charles said. "It is a pitiful reflection on the Conservative Parliamentary Party at every level."
Watch some Sir Charles’s comments below – and let us know if you agree with him on whether there is any "coming back" from tonight:
This is what Tory MPs think of their own government. pic.twitter.com/C48Aucckry
Another Tory backbencher appears to have called for Liz Truss’s resignation.
Henry Smith, the Tory MP for Crawley and among 40 of his party who did not vote on fracking tonight, wrote on Twitter: "Tonight I couldn’t vote in Parliament to break my 2019 election pledge on preventing fracking; also the removal of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary – who was striving to sort out illegal migration – was just wrong.
"In a time of global challenges the UK needs true leadership."
Labour has been accused by Tory MPs of repeating Brexit vote tactics with tonight’s drama on fracking.
"The problems of fracking are too important to trivialise as the Opposition did today by using the issue for partisan advantage to try to paralyse Parliament again as they did with Brexit," Tim Loughton said on Twitter.
He also wrote: "Neither Worthing MPs voting for a ‘ban on tracking’ – so don’t play to the Labour Party’s tune."
Mims Davies, the MP for Mid Sussex, added: "Tonight’s vote – I voted against the Opposition motion because I will not give them control of the order paper. It was a Trojan horse pure & simple. I don’t believe fracking is right for Mid Sussex."
One senior Tory MP predicted the Prime Minister would limp on in power into the new year because there is no "unity candidate" to replace her, writes Nick Gutteridge.
"The party has sullenly decided there’s nothing they can do about it," said the top backbencher.
But they warned the next months are likely to prove highly unstable and Suella Braverman’s resignation will be the start of a "rolling Cabinet reshuffle".
"It’s the sort of reshuffle where you’re never far from a call up," they joked. "People will come in and people will go out. It’s very egalitarian."
Suella Braverman attacked Liz Truss for failing to take responsibility for her mistakes as she sensationally quit as home secretary.
In a withering parting shot she expressed "concerns about the direction of this Government" and said the Prime Minister had broken her promises.
Her resignation marks a moment of high peril for Ms Truss’s floundering leadership and could spark a new move to oust her from No 10.
Grant Shapps, a former transport secretary who has been highly critical of the Prime Minister, has replaced her at the Home Office.
Nick Gutteridge has the full story
A Channel 4 host has apologised to Steve Baker, a minister at the Northern Ireland Office, after using "a very offensive word" following an interview.
"After a robust interview with Steve Baker MP I used a very offensive word in an unguarded moment off air," Krishnan Guru-Murthy wrote on Twitter.
"While it was not broadcast that word in any context is beneath the standards I set myself and I apologise unreservedly. I have reached out to Steve Baker to say sorry."
Mr Baker responded: "I appreciate you apologising. Thank you."
The next 24 hours are going to be "hell for Liz Truss", a senior Tory MP told the Telegraph.
They said: "I personally think she has to go tonight… I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. There’s a lot of colleagues that are looking pretty grim, and they are the ones that did back her. I’m glad I didn’t. I could see this coming."
"I think the only way this can come to any decent conclusion is the likes of Rishi and Penny have to come to a grown-up decision, this isn’t about egos, it’s for the sake of the party but more importantly for the sake of the country.
"We need our Michael Howard moment and I think that’s the only way we’ve got only hope of salvaging our credibility.
"My understanding is a shedload of letters have gone in today. After tonight, I think you’re going to see absolute chaos. I think the next 24 hours are going to be hell for her."
Alexander Stafford, the MP for Rother Valley, has denied claims by Chris Bryant he was among those "bullied" tonight.
"No one pushes me around," Mr Stafford wrote on Twitter. "And the only ‘bullying’ I’ve felt is when the Rother Valley Labour Party use photos of my wife and babies in sponsored attack ads."
It came as Mr Bryant, the Labour chairman of the standards committee, tweeted a photograph showing chaotic scenes in the division lobby.
"This is a Government that is functioning well," Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Business Secretary, told the PA news agency tonight.
"The Government won the vote with a majority of 90."
One senior Tory MP texts to say: "It’s utter chaos."
Privately, many have wanted Liz Truss out in the past couple of weeks.
It is hard to see how this Conservative Party unites.
A former Conservative minister tells Christopher Hope: "We are a national joke."
Six weeks into the job and Liz Truss no longer has her first choice of chancellor or home secretary in post, having sacked Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday before Suella Braverman quit today.
Much of Ms Truss’s tax-cutting agenda, set out firstly during her leadership campaign and then during the junked mini-Budget, is now in tatters with Jeremy Hunt, her new Chancellor, instead warning there will indeed be tax rises in the medium-term.
The Prime Minister remains in office, but, as the saying goes, certainly does not seem to be in power. There look to have been some 40 abstentions on tonight’s key vote on fracking. And reports of ugly scenes in the division lobby only add to a wider sense of chaos.
How does Ms Truss come back now – if at all?
Tory MPs are saying Liz Truss sacked Wendy Morton in the lobby and marched her out and the deputy chief whip had now resigned in protest, writes Nick Gutteridge.
It was because of all the mayhem over whether it was a confidence vote or not.
Another said it was nothing as dramatic as that there was just "lots of confusion" about whether it was a confidence vote or not.
One Tory MP putting a positive gloss on things said it was a "good result" that "gives us breathing space" to go back to governing for two years. They said the plotters now have "nowhere to go".
A Labour MP said: "I have never know anything like that. I’ve known lots of tense moments but it’s the fundamental principle you don’t shout, you don’t point, you don’t push. Whips are there to persuade but they do it rationally and calmly, they don’t do it that way.
"One of the whips said to me I feel completely ashamed and the reason Tory MPs were anxious was because they’d been told it was a vote of confidence, then that it wasn’t, then Graham Stuart said it was above his pay grade."
"I’m waiting for the moment in Dallas when Bobby Ewing walks out of the shower and says it’s all just been a bad dream," Sir Desmond Swayne writes tonight.
Meanwhile Alexander Stafford, another Tory MP who Chris Bryant claimed had been badly treated tonight, has said on Twitter: "Lots of rumours flying around tonight.
"This vote was never about fracking but about Labour trying to destabilise the country, and take control of Parliament. I had a frank and robust conversation outside the voting lobbies confirming my opposition to fracking,"
And Sir Gary Streeter quips:
I thought I saw Elvis in the No lobby. https://t.co/FCi1zbFTHz
A senior Conservative MP who is also a doctor tells Christopher Hope: "I’d now be calling in the relatives to say it is hours not days."
Jacob Rees-Mogg denied there was an "angry" mood, but it was "slightly confused because of this issue as to whether it was or wasn’t a confidence vote".
"There was a question about whether there were going to be further amendments… so there was a discussion about what was actually happening in Parliament, and this is completely normal."
The veteran Tory MP says tonight’s events "reflect really badly on the Government of the day".
Asked if there was any coming back from this, Sir Charles said: "I don’t think so. I’ve been of that view since, really, two weeks ago. This is an absolute disgrace. As a Tory MP of 17 years, who’s never been a minister who’s got on with it loyally most of the time, I think it’s a shambles and a disgrace. I think it is utterly appalling.
"I’m livid. And do you know, I really shouldn’t say this, but I hope all those people that put Liz Truss in Number 10, I hope it was worth it. I hope it was worth it for the ministerial Red Box, I hope it was worth it to sit round the Cabinet table. Because the damage they have done to the party is extraordinary. I’ve had enough of talentless people putting their tick in the right box not because it’s in the national interest, but because it’s in their own interest to achieve a ministerial position."
… but there is plenty that has happened tonight which remains unaccounted for.
The Telegraph understands both the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip have gone.
And Kwasi Kwarteng, chancellor until last Friday, and former prime minister Theresa May were among the abstentions on the fracking motion tonight.
Wendy Morton resigned as Chief Whip tonight, the Telegraph understands, amid chaos over a vote on fracking.
Craig Whittaker, her deputy, is also understood to have quit.
Kwasi Kwarteng, David Davies and Priti Patel all appear to have abstained on tonight’s vote on fracking, according to the Commons.
No vote was recorded for the former chancellor, former Brexit secretary or former home secretary.
"We are meant to be a House that is physically opposed to bullying and harassment," Chris Bryant has claimed on Sky News tonight.
What a remarkable evening in the Commons so far.
Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, urged the Deputy Speaker to "launch an investigation" into the scenes outside the ‘No’ lobby tonight.
"I saw members being physically manhandled into another lobby," he told the Commons, "and being bullied. If we want to stand up against bullying in this House against our staff, we have to stop bullying in this chamber as well."
Craig Whittaker, the Deputy Chief Whip, has reportedly also resigned as well as Wendy Morton, Bloomberg News is reporting.
More as we have it and try to work out just what is going on Westminster this evening.
When the 1922 executive committee met this afternoon, changes to the rules on ousting a Prime Minister was not discussed, Camilla Turner writes.
Sir Graham Brady instead used the meeting to "canvas opinion" from the other executive committee members about the mood of the party.
He went around the room asking each committee member to explain how colleagues feel about the current state of play.
A member of the Government has told Tony Diver, our Whitehall Correspondent, that Wendy Morton was unhappy that Graham Stuart said Labour’s fracking motion was no longer a confidence vote.
It was a complete contradiction of what Craig Whittaker, her deputy, told MPs earlier.
Thangam Debonnaire asks in the Commons about "very strong rumours the Government Chief Whip has resigned".
"I seek your guidance on whether or not this can be confirmed," she says.
The Deputy Speaker asks whether a member of Government has resigned, adding she had not been given any such information.
Should time be made for MPs to debate a fracking ban?
The Government has won with a majority of 96. Some 40 Tory MPs appear to have abstained tonight.
"Can the sergeant please investigate the delay in the ‘No’ lobby?" asks the Deputy Speaker.
What a night it has shaped up to be in Westminster. More as we have it, amid unconfirmed reports Wendy Morton has resigned as Chief Whip.
"I am in my office, watching it with interest."
Three words that sum up the day, as Jess Phillips, Labour’s shadow domestic violence minister, claims there was "lots of anger" in the division lobby just now.
Massive Tory row going on in the lobby, literally trying to force people through. Lots of anger
And David Linden, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, writes on Twitter: "Just watched the Deputy Prime Minister practically pick up a hesitant Tory MP and march him into the Government lobby. Astonishing."
Ms Nokes, a former minister, writes: "The only reason I am voting against the Labour motion is because I will not give them control of the order paper – and I will retain my say in who is Prime Minister."
Suella Braverman was due to attend a lunchtime meeting of the home affairs cabinet sub-committee that was meant to strike the grand bargain between ministers on migration, writes Ben Riley-Smith, our Political Editor.
Ms Braverman had made clear for weeks how she wanted to limit migration, saying privately she had rejected demands for more visas for foreign florists, hairdressers and town planners.
However, Jeremy Hunt’s accession to the Treasury and Ms Truss’s new focus on boosting the economy without tax cuts had meant that Ms Braverman was getting overruled.
The then Home Secretary is understood to have sent a copy of an official sensitive document outlining the policy proposals for the cabinet sub-committee by email
She did so via her personal email account rather than her official government account. However instead of reaching an ally MP, she accidentally sent it to another Tory MP.
There is chaos in the Commons as Government says the Labour fracking motion is now *not* a confidence vote, writes Tony Diver, our Whitehall Correspondent.
But asked by Tory MPs whether they will lose the whip if they abstain, Graham Stuart says that is a "matter for party managers". So it is unclear whether Chris Skidmore et al will be kicked.
Division bells are now ringing and MPs are off to vote. I suspect there will be some frantic horse trading in the division lobbies, as Tory rebels try and work out what the consequences are for not voting against Labour’s motion.
Graham Stuart stresses community support is "so important" for fracking.
"There will be that community veto that we’ve heard so much about from colleagues," he says from the Despatch Box.
"It is this Government which is leading the green transformation to take us away from [fossil fuels], it is this Government who is leading us towards net zero – crucially not just here, but all around the world."
He praises fellow Tory MP Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, and adds the transformation of the global position on net zero "has been critical".
Tory whips reportedly told Conservative MPs that today’s vote is being treated as a "confidence motion in the Government".
That means that any Tory MP who voted with Labour would likely lose the party whip.
But Graham Stuart, the climate minister, has just told the Commons this was "not a confidence vote".
Will the Tories make good on those apparent threats to expel anyone who rebels? The Government may now be spinning that this is not a confidence vote, yet a win for Labour would hand them control of the order paper.
It is a sign of Liz Truss’s shattered political authority, and speaks to an administration in retreat.
As the fracking debate winds up Graham Stuart, the climate minister, accuses Ed Miliband of having been "too clever by half" and an "attempt to seize the order paper".
"Quite clearly, this is not a confidence vote, but it is an attempt by-" he begins, only to be drowned out by jeers from the opposition benches.
"This Government has led the way in reducing emissions and heading towards net zero."
He recalls the "no money left" note at the end of the last Labour government, promising to continue with the "green revolution".
To lose one senior member of the Cabinet in a week looks unfortunate. To lose two appears positively careless, writes Camilla Tominey.
But the departure of Suella Braverman as home secretary speaks to a bigger problem for Liz Truss than sheer optics.
In sacking two key allies on the Right, only for them to be replaced by opponents more to the Left of the party, the Prime Minister is increasingly looking like the victim of a Conservative coup.
It is certainly ironic that the former home secretary, in post for just 43 days, first used that word to describe those who plotted against Ms Truss’s original plan to link benefit to wages rather than inflation.
Read more: Why Eurosceptics should be worried
Jeremy Hunt’s "principle message" to the 1922 committee was "about how the party needs to unite, to come together to deliver", Camilla Turner writes.
"He was speaking in broad strokes about how he needs to balance pressures on spending with pressures on tax. His priority is protecting the most vulnerable people," according to a Government source.
The Chancellor and the Prime Minister are in "complete agreement" on the need to uphold the manifesto commitment to provide the pensions triple lock, they added.
The Government source insisted that Liz Truss is still in control of her party and that she would still be in Downing Street by the end of the week.
Asked how many MPs are set to lose the whip for rebelling over the fracking vote, they said "I don’t have a crystal ball".
Asked if Suella Braverman’s exit could hasten Liz Truss’s demise, Jonathan Gullis, the schools minister, said: "I don’t agree with that personally. What I’m actually hearing from our colleagues is a want of unity.
"Because it’s so important we have that political stability, which also has a massive impact as we know on those markets as well."
Mr Gullis insisted Mr Shapps would deliver "what is needed in terms of tackling the small boats" and on making the most of Brexit freedoms.
If you thought tonight was sticky for Liz Truss and her credibility, wait for Suella Braverman’s resignation statement to the House of Commons, writes Christopher Hope, our Associate Editor.
Ms Braverman remains adored by the European Research Group (ERG) of eurosceptic Tory backbenchers, and of course the Tory grassroots.
Asked if Liz Truss had not "owned up to mistakes herself", Grant Shapps insisted there was a "very important job to do".
"The Home Office is at the heart of that in so many ways, it’s a great office of state, I’m obviously honoured to do that role. I’m going to get on with that serious role right now."
"Evening, everyone," the new Home Secretary told reporters outside the Home Office.
"Look, obviously it’s been a turbulent time for the Government. But I think the most important thing is to make sure people in this country know they’ve got security.
"And that is why it’s a great honour to be appointed as Home Secretary today. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the role, providing the sort of security the British people need, regardless of what else is happening in Westminster."
Asked if the Government had broken key pledges on migration, he said he was "literally 10 minutes into this job… I accept that the Government has obviously had a difficult period. As Jeremy Hunt said when he was appointed on Friday, that nonetheless means it’s doubly important to ensure we are doing absolutely everything in the basic areas."
Mr Shapps said Mr Hunt had done a "great job of settling the issues relating to that mini-Budget" and pledged to "make people feel secure and protected".
Mark Menzies has joined tonight’s fracking rebels this evening, as the Government braces itself for a key vote.
"The geology has not changed nor has the science," Mr Menzies told the Commons.
"We cannot keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome."
Simon Hoare, the chairman of the Northern Ireland select committee, said he wanted to use his voice to "shape the future" of the Conservative Party.
Of course, Mr Wragg signalled his lack of confidence in the Government earlier today (see 2.29pm) and revealed he had submitted a letter of no confidence.
Mr Hoare backed Rishi Sunak and has been scathing about Ms Truss’s premiership so far.
Friends of Suella Braverman have explained the events that led up to her resignation, Camilla Turner writes.
"By accident, she sent a non-sensitive official document to another MP – she was trying to promote the Government’s shared immigration policy," they explained.
"She sent it from her phone and used her private email by mistake. This such a trivial thing and would have been nothing, but she also copied in someone else by mistake and that person works for another backbench MP."
They said the other MP then complained to the chief whip, the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and Liz Truss.
Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski has backed Suella Braverman’s decision to quit.
"This has been a mistake, she is right to resign, she has done the right thing," Mr Kawczynski told Sky News.
Asked about whether an apparent Sunakite takeover of her Government was "unsustainable", he admitted: "We are in a very difficult situation as a Government and as a party, there is no doubt about that.
"Let’s not forget although the Labour Party would like to blame the Government here and now because of the situation, the £600billion that we had to borrow to get every family through, survival in the pandemic, has blown a massive hole in the public finances, and that is causing volatility."
Grant Shapps being made Home Secretary is yet another extraordinary development on what has been a truly chaotic day here in Westminster.
Mr Shapps, who was the transport secretary under Boris Johnson, is a moderate Tory who had backed Rishi Sunak for the leadership after running his own fledgling campaign.
Speaking to the News Agents podcast at the Tory party conference earlier this month, Mr Shapps had sounded a warning to Ms Truss "the next 10 days" were critical to saving her job.
"I think if you’re honest, the next 10 days is a critical period of time. She’s got a conference speech to make after a very difficult few days, she’s got the MPs coming back together again for the first time since things became choppy."
Only two weekends ago, there were claims in the Times newspaper Mr Shapps was excitedly showing off a spreadsheet in which he recorded criticisms of Ms Truss. The fact he is now holding one of the great offices in her state in Government is truly remarkable.
Grant Shapps, who had been cast aside to the backbenches as part of Liz Truss’s reshuffle, is the new Home Secretary, No 10 has confirmed.
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP @grantshapps has been appointed Secretary of State for the Home Department @ukhomeoffice. pic.twitter.com/z1xKhgwVJW
Brandon Lewis is "no longer available to do an interview tonight", ITV’s Peston programme has said.
The Justice Secretary was scheduled to appear on the show, and his non-appearance is a symptom of the febrile atmosphere in Westminster this evening.
Steve Baker, a minister at the Northern Ireland Office, told Sky News the now-former home secretary Suella Braverman had "decided to front up and say that she’s broken the rules".
"I want to be absolutely clear, if she hadn’t made this mistake today she would be continuing in the Government, continuing to serve as home secretary," Mr Baker told Sky News.
"There’s absolutely no question of this being an attack on the Prime Minister, as such. And this is totally regrettable. I wish she was staying and I very much hope the Prime Minister will feel able to bring Suella back in the new year."
Mr Baker praised Ms Braverman’s "good, strong line" on small boat crossings and her pragmatism stance on agricultural workers.
Liz Truss’s position as Prime Minister is in danger as a growing number of Tory MPs call for her to resign after a disastrous start to her premiership.
On Monday, Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor, ditched most of Ms Truss’s economic agenda outlined in her disastrous mini-Budget last month that sent markets into meltdown.
But the U-turns have seemingly done little to quash growing disquiet within the party, with the MPs William Wragg, Sir Charles Walker, Steve Double, Angela Richardson, Jamie Wallis, Crispin Blunt and Andrew Bridgen calling for her to step down.
Read more: How Truss could be ousted
"Enough is enough," a Tory MP and former science minister has said tonight.
In one of the more brutal of many blue-on-blue broadsides, George Freeman wrote:
The Home Secretary ‘resigns’ attacking the PM & Government program she had supported?
The Chancellor ‘resigns’ for implementing the policies he & PM & Cabinet had agreed?
Enough is enough. The Cabinet need to get a grip, fast, to restore collective responsibility & confidence. https://t.co/l7enzkORqZ pic.twitter.com/R4XpnG6eve
Another symptom of the chaos at the heart of Downing Street tonight.
Kate McCann, the political editor of TalkTV, said in a tweet: "Our interview with a Government minister has been pulled at the last minute."
Thank you for your letter. I accept your resignation and respect the decision you have made. It is important that the Ministerial Code is upheld, and that Cabinet confidentiality is respected.
I am grateful for your service as Home Secretary. Your time in office has been marked by your steadfast commitment to keeping the British people safe. You oversaw the largest ever ceremonial policing operation, when thousands of officers were deployed from forces across the United Kingdom to ensure the safety of the Royal Family and all those who gathered in mourning for Her Late Majesty the Queen.
I am also grateful for your previous work as Attorney General, as my Cabinet colleague and in particular your work on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.
I look forward to working with you in the future and wish you all the best.
During the fracking debate, Tory MP Craig Mackinlay quips we "often wonder why we’re not taken very seriously in this House".
Mr Mackinlay notes energy problems "have come home to roost – and here we are speaking about trying to ban a source of domestic energy while we are short of it".
"And we wonder why people out there think we are stark raving mad! But of course, today’s debate isn’t about fracking, it isn’t about fracking at all. It’s about taking control of the order paper, and we saw that taking place during the Brexit wars."
Former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell has just left the 1922 Committee meeting and is full of praise for Jeremy Hunt’s performance.
"The gilt market is doing really well and that’s because we have a grown up at Number Eleven," he said.
"He is demonstrating that he has a grip of the situation. The important thing is that we have a grown up at the helm, it’s just what we need. He is a man who knows what he’s doing and will provide the solution."
Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, has arrived at the group’s weekly meeting with backbench Tories, Camilla Turner writes.
He has come straight from a meeting with the 1922 Committee executive and will now chair what is likely to be an explosive meeting Conservative MPs.
The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is currently sitting outside the room preparing his notes before going in to speak to backbenchers.
Asked by reporters outside whether he was the de facto Prime Minister, Mr Hunt said: "If only life were that wonderful".
Tracey Crouch, the Tory MP for Chatham and Aylesford, quoted Chris Skidmore’s tweet (see 5.12pm) with the word: "Ditto."
Angela Richardson, the MP for Guildford who has already demanded Liz Truss’s resignation, also wrote: "Ditto."
What an evening this shaping up to be already…
Chris Skidmore, the Tory MP currently carrying out a net zero review for Liz Truss, indicated he was prepared to lose the party whip in tonight’s fracking vote.
"As the former Energy Minister who signed net zero into law, for the sake of our environment and climate, I cannot personally vote tonight to support fracking and undermine the pledges I made at the 2019 general election. I am prepared to face the consequences of my decision."
Nigel Farage – a perennial thorn in the side of the Tory party – has claimed the "Hunt reshuffle is on".
"Suella Braverman looks to be out – Leaver and ECHR-sceptic," the former Ukip and Brexit Party leader said.
"According to reports, she will be replaced by Grant Shapps (Remainer). This is a coup, the Conservative Party is dead."
My letter to the Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/TaWO1PMOF2
Suella Braverman, the former home secretary, has posted a letter on her Twitter just now.
Ms Braverman said she "sent an official document from my personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague… as you know, the document was a draft Written Ministerial Statement about migration, due for publication imminently".
"Nevertheless it is right for me to go. As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the Cabinet Secretary."
But, she adds in remarks that will deal a further blow to No 10,, "we are going through a tumultuous time… I have concerns about the direction of this Government".
"Not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have had serious concerns about this Government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments, such as reducing overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration, particularly the dangerous small boats crossings."
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Business Secretary, has pledged local communities "will have a veto" over fracking projects, Nick Gutteridge writes.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Rees-Mogg said neighbourhood approval could be measured by running local referendums on whether to accept drilling.
He added that MPs will also have a chance to vote down fracking altogether by rejecting the legislation to set up a local consent mechanism.
His remarks are an attempt to head off a Tory rebellion ahead of a vote tonight on whether to press ahead with the controversial energy policy.
"I want to apologise – I’m getting really fed up with this soap opera drama, like the rest of us.
"I’m as bemused as everyone else is"
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, has been ordered to rush back from am official trip to Northern Ireland so he can vote on fracking, Camilla Turner writes.
"It’s a three line whip," a Government source said. "He has to be there".
Mr Heaton-Harris has been on an official visit to Belfast today for the opening of the UK Government Erskine House offices in Belfast.
He was also due to meet Simon Coveney, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Chaos in Liz Truss’s Government shows no sign of abating with the departure of Suella Braverman after just 43 days as home secretary.
Ms Braverman, a darling of the grassroots, had reportedly disagreed with Ms Truss on a number of policy issues, with some suggestions she was cut out of migration policy altogether.
A darling of the grassroots, Ms Braverman – a Conservative leadership candidate herself over the summer – received the longest standing ovation at Tory conference two weeks ago.
When taking aim at oil protesters, she told the Commons yesterday: "I’m afraid it’s the Labour Party, it’s the Lib Dems, it’s the coalition of chaos, it’s the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating, wokerati – dare I say, the anti-growth coalition – that we have to thank for the disruption we are seeing on our roads today."
Little did she know this rhetorical flourish would be her last from the Despatch Box. The question now is who replaces Ms Braverman? And where does Ms Truss’s administration, already rocked by U-turn after U-turn, go from here?
The Liberal Democrats hit out at a "Government in chaos" this afternoon after Suella Braverman left the role of home secretary.
Alistair Carmichael, its home affairs spokesman, said: "People should not be forced to watch the Conservative party implode day after day while real people suffer.
"There is a of cost of living catastrophe, health service crisis and now a rudderless Home Office.
"The only solution now is a General Election so the public can get off this carousel of Conservative chaos."
Suella Braverman has left the role of Home Secretary this afternoon in the latest blow to Liz Truss’s embattled premiership.
Ms Braverman was only in the role for a total of 43 days, and she leaves after multiple reported policy disagreements with the Prime Minister.
Suella Braverman has reportedly departed as Home Secretary in the latest below to Liz Truss’s embattled premiership.
Opening the Opposition Day debate on fracking, Ed Miliband accuses the Government of seeking to break its manifesto promise on fracking without the consent of the Commons.
In its 2019 general election manifesto, the Conservative Party declined to support fracking "unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely".
Mr Miliband, the shadow climate change and net zero secretary, says there is no "categorical evidence" fracking is safe and nor would it be "consistent with any serious response to the climate crisis".
He adds: "And crucially, do people want it? The answer is no."
The first Opposition Day motion has passed, with 223 ayes and 0 noes – in other words, no opposition from the Government.
The motion urges the Government to "publish the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts immediately, alongside Government estimates of windfall profits for the next two years from energy producers in the UK".
Dominic Penna here, the Telegraph’s Political Reporter, taking you through the rest of another febrile day in Westminster.
So far, we have already seen Liz Truss cancel a trip away from Westminster ahead of a significant vote in the Commons, which is being seen as a vote of confidence in her embattled premiership.
And William Wragg, the vice-chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbenchers, became the latest in a handful of Tory MPs to call for her to step aside as he confirmed in the Commons he had submitted a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, the Committee chairman.
The deputy governor of the Bank of England has said that the Government did not fully brief the Bank on its mini-Budget and sweeping tax-cutting plans before it was unveiled.
Sir Jon Cunliffe told the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Mel Stride, that the Bank would have advised the Government if it knew there would be such a dramatic knock-on effect on market stability.
Sir Jon said: “We did not have a full briefing of the package the night before.
“Had they asked us what the market reaction would be, we would have interacted with them.
“But it is not our responsibility to give the Government advice on fiscal policy, it is the role of the Treasury.”
A Downing Street source said Liz Truss’s visit this afternoon (see the post below at 14.13) was cancelled due to “Government business”, but declined to elaborate further.
Camilla Tominey, The Telegraph’s associate editor, has managed to confirm that Truss adviser Jason Stein has been suspended over alleged briefing against Sajid Javid.
Mr Stein is believed to have been told that unless No10 suspended him then Mr Javid was poised to publicly challenge the PM about it at PMQs.
The former chancellor had been expected to ask a question but withdrew at the last minute. Senior aides to the PM apparently agreed the suspension before Ms Truss’s appearance at the Despatch Box.
A Tory source said: “It’s a big blow to the PM because Jason was doing a lot behind the scenes to steady the ship. He is very competent and popular with MPs and journalists alike.”
William Wragg, the vice chairman of the 1922 Committee, told the Commons: "The lack of foresight by senior members of the Government I cannot easily forgive, and my forgiveness is not something that the Government should seek at all but our constituents, who are in a difficult enough situation as it is."
William Wragg said he was "personally ashamed" by the mini-Budget after he confirmed he had submitted a letter of no confidence in the PM to Sir Graham Brady (see the post below at 14.10).
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Wragg said the "trashing" of the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility by Tory figures over the summer had been "near-Maoist" in its nature.
"I am a Conservative, and I suppose orthodoxy goes hand-in-hand with that – that is Conservative orthodoxy," he said.
"Conservative orthodoxy is sound financial management and a balanced budget, not stick some pamphlets into a test tube, shake it up and see what happens. That is not the way the Conservative Party should ever govern."
He added: "What occurred with that financial statement, I am personally ashamed – because I cannot go and face my constituents, look them in the eye and say that they should support our great party and the polls would seem to bear that out."
The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government over the 24 hours of confusion surrounding the "triple lock" on state pensions.
Wendy Chamberlain, the party’s work and pension’s spokeswoman, said: “This is a party in utter chaos, that can’t keep its own policies straight from day to day, let alone through the winter. This will bring cold comfort to pensioners across the country after a precarious wait.
“Once again, this Government has had to be dragged kicking and screaming by their own backbench’s backlash into doing the right thing, leaving yet more uncertainty for our most vulnerable.
“Liberal Democrats are calling for an immediate guarantee that both pensions and social security will rise in line with inflation.”
Liz Truss has cancelled a visit which was scheduled for this afternoon.
No 10 has not given a reason for the cancellation of the visit to an electronics manufacturer specialising in defence and aerospace technology.
William Wragg, a senior Tory MP, has said he has “lodged” a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister with Sir Graham Brady.
Speaking during an opposition day debate on the economy in the House of Commons, the vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, said he would like to vote with Labour on the fracking motion later this afternoon, but he is not going to as he would lose the whip.
He told MPs: “If I vote as I would wish, then I would lose the whip. I would no longer be vice chair of the 1922 Committee.
“I would no longer maintain a position as a chair of one of the select committees of the House. And indeed, because of that, my letter lodged with my honourable friend, the member for Altrincham and Sale West, would fall, and I wish to maintain that letter with my honourable friend.”
Dover and Deal Tory MP Natalie Elphicke said Liz Truss is in a “tricky spot”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “Well, I think the Prime Minister is in a tricky spot. The bottom line is the leadership promises that she was elected on, (if) you take an area like mine, people are looking for action on the small boats, and nothing substantial has happened on that. She was elected on a growth agenda and a low tax agenda. We’re now looking at higher taxes.
“So I do think she is in a difficult position and it’s absolutely vital that we keep stability, we get our country back on track, and we actually make sure that we’ve got a very strong look forward position for our country.”
Liz Truss has issued a warning to aides that “unacceptable” briefings against Tory MPs must stop, Downing Street has said.
One of the Prime Minister’s special advisers, Jason Stein, has reportedly been suspended pending an investigation by the Cabinet Office propriety and ethics team.
Asked about the report, the Prime Minister’s press secretary said: “I am not going to get into individual staffing matters but the Prime Minister has made very clear to her team that some of the sort of briefings that we have seen are completely unacceptable about parliamentary colleagues and they must stop.”
Tory MP Nigel Mills said the Government “needs to get a grip”, adding that the current situation is not sustainable.
He said he suspects the country “won’t thank us for eights weeks with no leadership”, and he believes Liz Truss can stay.
But he told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “I think the Government needs to get a grip.”
Asked if the situation is sustainable, he said: “Not like this, no. We can’t keep having a fiscal statement every other working day.
Liz Truss and Jeremy Hunt agreed to maintain the “triple lock” on pensions this morning ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions, Downing Street has said.
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said the decision reflected the “unique position” of pensioners who are unable to increase their income through work.
The spokesman said: “Our priority… is to protect the most vulnerable. That includes those who cannot increase their earnings through work, such as pensioners. They are in a unique position.
“She and the Chancellor have discussed and agreed the position the Prime Minister set out this morning.”
Liz Truss has only “days” to prove that she is the right person to be Prime Minister, a Tory MP has said.
Steve Double, a former minister, warned there has been “a real loss of confidence” in the Prime Minister, both among the British public and a large part of the parliamentary Conservative party.
He told told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “She’s either got to step up and demonstrate to us that she is the right person for the job, that she’s got the qualities we need to lead our country through what are going to be incredibly challenging months ahead, and what her policies are because she’s ditched virtually every policy that she said she stood for when she stood for the election.”
He said he thinks Ms Truss has an “incredibly short window” to do this – only “days” – and it would “take qualities that we’ve not yet seen from her”.
“By the end of next week, we’ve got to be convinced,” he said, adding that most colleagues he speaks to now “probably have their preference” for a successor.
Liz Truss has launched a charm offensive on Tory MPs in recent days, attending numerous events and inviting backbenchers to receptions at No 10.
The PM’s press secretary said she would be holding “fairly regular” events for backbenchers as she seeks to cling onto power.
He said: “Not every night, that would be a bit much, but they will be regular.”
Downing Street has said any use by Russia of nuclear weapons in the conflict with Ukraine will have “severe consequences”.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has been in Washington for talks with his US counterpart following reports that Vladimir Putin could detonate a nuclear warhead over the Black Sea.
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman did not comment on the meeting but said: “We are very clear with Putin that the use of nuclear weapons will lead to severe consequences.”
Tory rebels on fracking are planning to side with the Government in this evening’s vote called by Labour, Tony Diver has been told.
Ministers have scrambled to amend Labour’s motion, which would have allowed the Opposition to take control of Commons business and bring forward a motion to ban fracking.
But a leading Tory rebel told The Telegraph: "I won’t vote with Labour as their motion isn’t really about fracking, it’s just a vehicle for a different agenda.
"The difficulty is that the public will not necessarily understand the peculiarities of the order paper and opposition day motions – they will simply believe we support fracking when so many of us don’t and wish to honour our manifesto commitment."
It looks like the Government’s amendment will pass and fracking will live on. But it’s fair to say MPs are extremely angry they have been made to support Liz Truss or face losing the party whip this afternoon.
Andrew Griffith, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, is responding to Labour’s debate on the economy in the House of Commons this afternoon.
He accused Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, of "mispresenting global trends".
"We are focused on protecting the most vulnerable and looking after our economy," he said.
Labour is holding an opposition day debate in the House of Commons on "economic responsibility and a plan for growth".
Kicking off the debate, Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said the Government’s mini-Budget "will go down in history as the day that the British economy chose to sabotage its own economy".
She accused ministers of having "set our economy ablaze".
She said that despite Government U-turns "the damage has been done" in the form of rising mortgage payments.
One other thing from PMQs: Liz Truss confirmed the Government is going to consult on how local communities will be asked for local consent on potential fracking sites.
After the issue was raised in the Commons by a Tory MP, Ms Truss said: “I can ensure him that we will consult on the robust system of local consent, give clear advice on seismic limits and safety before any fracking takes place.
“And the consultation will consider all of the relevant people, the regional mayors, local authorities and parishes, as well as the concerns of those directly affected and my right honourable friend, the Business Secretary will be saying more about this later today.”
Two main things stick out from today’s PMQs.
One is the confusion – others would say U-turn – over the pensions "triple lock" and the other is Liz Truss’s performance.
Downing Street said yesterday that the pledge to keep the "triple lock" was being reviewed ahead of the Chancellor’s medium term fiscal plan being unveiled on October 31.
But Ms Truss said at lunchtime that she is "completely committed" to the promise and appeared to suggest that that commitment had never been in doubt.
At best it paints a picture of a fairly chaotic No 10 and is likely to reignite criticism of the Government’s communications.
On the issue of the PM’s performance, it will be the ongoing laughter among opposition MPs whenever the PM spoke that will be of most concern to Conservative backbenchers. That is the definition of bad optics.
Liz Truss’s comments on keeping the "triple lock" on pensions have stunned Westminster, with some describing it as a "U-turn on a U-turn".
Here is the verdict of some of the journalists in parliament.
Steven Swinford, the political editor at The Times, said:
Liz Truss has explicitly over-ruled Jeremy Hunt on the triple lock on state pension
While Hunt said breaking triple lock is on table given dire financial straits, she suggests it's very much off
Is that end of the matter? Does she have the authority to follow through on that?
Pippa Crerar, the political editor at The Guardian, said:
🚨U-turn on a u-turn – PM now commits to state pension rising in line with 10.1% inflation.
Liz Truss: “I’ve been clear that we’re protecting the triple lock”.
That’s not what No 10 said yesterday when PM’s spokesman said everything was on table.
Harry Cole, the political editor at The Sun, said:
PM now commits to the triple lock after Hunt and her own spokesman refused to do just that yesterday.
While Liz Truss has now committed to raising the state pension in line with inflation next year, she doidged making the same commitment on benefits.
Tory MP John Baron told the PM: "Recent events meant that spending is going to be more constrained than originally thought. May I encourage the Prime Minister to ensure that we retain compassion in politics in these decisions, including maintaining the link between benefits and inflation. Will she do that?"
Ms Truss replied: "We are compassionate Conservatives. We will always work to protect the most vulnerable and that is what we did with the energy price guarantee. We are going to make sure the most vulnerable are protected into year two and I am sure the Chancellor has heard my honourable friend’s representations on the contents of the medium term fiscal plan."
A major moment as Liz Truss insists she is "completely committed" to the pensions "triple lock".
Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, asked Ms Truss to "get permission to make another U-turn and commit to raising the state pension at the rate of inflation".
She replied: "I honestly don’t know what the honourable gentleman is talking about because we have been clear in our manifesto that we will maintain the triple lock and I am completely committed to it, so is the Chancellor."
Sir Keir Starmer told Liz Truss: "She is asking me questions because we are a government in waiting and they are an opposition in waiting."
The Labour leader said: "Her supposed best friend the former chancellor, he has gone as well. They are all gone. So why is she still here?"
Ms Truss replied: "I am a fighter and not a quitter."
Sir Keir Starmer pointed out that Liz Truss promised at PMQs last week that there would be no public spending cuts but now that commitment has been shredded.
He asked: "What’s the point of a Prime Minister whose promises don’t even last a week?"
Ms Truss hit back and said: "Well, I can assure the right honourable gentleman that spending will go up next year and it will go up the year after. But of course we need to get value for taxpayers’ money."
Sir Keir said the only reason why cuts are now being looked at is "because they crashed the economy".
Sir Keir Starmer grilled Liz Truss over the decision to water down the Government’s energy price guarantee.
He asked: "How can she be held to account when she is not in charge?"
Ms Truss replied: "Our policy is to protect the most vulnerable for two years."
The PM said that she is "prepared to front up" following mistakes and is "prepared to take the tough decisions".
She said that the Labour leader "has got no plan".
Sir Keir Starmer said that a book is being written about Liz Truss’s time in Downing Street and "apparently it is going to be out by Christmas".
He asked: "Is that the release date or the title?"
Ms Truss said she believes she has achieved more in six weeks in No 10 than Sir Keir has in "two and a half years in the job" as Labour leader.
PMQs is now underway.
Justin Madders, the Labour MP, asked Liz Truss why she kept her job but Kwasi Kwarteng lost his over the mini-Budget.
Ms Truss said that she had been clear that "I am sorry and that I have made mistakes".
Opposition MPs could be heard shouting "resign!" as the Prime Minister spoke in the House of Commons.
The House of Commons is now pretty much full ahead of PMQs.
All the seats in the chamber have been filled and plenty of MPs are standing as they await the clash between Liz Truss and Sir Keir Starmer.
Labour has seized on Tory whips reportedly telling Conservative MPs that this afternoon’s vote on fracking is being treated as a "confidence motion in the Government" (see the post below at 10.57).
Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow Commons leader, said: "The consequence of making this a confidence vote is that if the Government loses the motion on fracking, the Prime Minister will resign and the Government will fall. The Tories must urgently confirm this is the case."
Liz Truss is facing a make or break PMQs at noon as she tries to save her premiership.
Her approach is likely to be built on two things: Showing contrition over the mini-Budget debacle and demonstrating to Tory MPs that she remains up for the fight against Labour.
Having already apologised for the mini-Budget we can expect the Prime Minister to repeat a similar message in the House of Commons today.
The premier will also come armed with attack lines designed to take the wind out of Sir Keir Starmer’s sails.
Ms Truss will undoubtedly enter the contest as the underdog. Tory MPs will be watching closely as they try to decide if the PM has a long term future in No 10.
Liz Truss has just left No 10 to head to the House of Commons for PMQs.
One reporter in Downing Street shouted "is this your last Prime Minister’s Questions" but Ms Truss did not respond.
The unmistakable sound of a television news helicopter can be heard above Whitehall right now as Liz Truss prepares to leave No 10 to head to Parliament for PMQs.
There is no more obvious sign of a big day in Westminster than a news helicopter hovering overhead, waiting to film the PM’s short journey from Downing Street to Parliament.
Liz Truss admitted she had faced a tough week when speaking at a Downing Street drinks reception last night for a small group of Conservative MPs, according to one present, writes Ben Riley-Smith.
A Tory MP who was among the 25-odd who went into No 10 last night suggested the event, while welcome, will not have changed colleagues’ minds about her political peril.
The source who attended told The Telegraph: “It was a tick box exercise among moderate MPs. There were about 25 people there. She went around the room just saying hi to people. It was to try to achieve unity.
“I wouldn’t say it was in the Premier League of impacts, but it was a nice thing to do. I don’t think it would have changed anyone’s mind.”
The source recalled Ms Truss saying in a brief speech: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks but we need to stay unified."
Tobias Ellwood, the Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee, has urged Conservative MPs to "calm down" and wait for the Government to unveil its medium term fiscal plan on October 31
Speaking to Times Radio, he said: "There are a huge number of questions over what would we do next. Who would be that leader?
The mechanics of getting that through… I really do ask colleagues to calm down, let us get this economic package of measures through, then we can have a wider discussion as to what unites our party and where we need to get to."
Labour will hold an opposition day debate in the House of Commons this afternoon on banning fracking.
The party has tabled a motion which, if agreed by MPs, would give Labour control of Commons business and enable it to bring forward its own legislation to impose a ban.
Unsurprisingly the Government does not want to give Labour control of the Commons and Tory whips have reportedly told Conservative MPs that today’s vote is being treated as a "confidence motion in the Government".
That means that any Tory MP who voted with Labour would likely lose the party whip.
Kevin Schofield, the political editor at HuffPost, got the story. Here is his tweet:
NEW: Message to Tory MPs from deputy chief whip Craig Whittaker declares that this afternoon's vote on fracking (Labour want to ban it for good) is "a confidence motion in the Government".
Lots of Tory MPs are opposed to fracking in their areas.
One MP says: "Big test." pic.twitter.com/fZLpN8rBNe
Here is the full quote from Tory MP Steve Double who has said Liz Truss should "consider her position" (see the original post below at 10.39).
Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Double said: "I think her position is becoming increasingly untenable. We’ve seen a complete reversal of just about everything she stood for in her leadership election campaign. I think many of us are asking exactly what does Liz Truss now believe and stand for because she seems to have abandoned virtually everything that she told us she was about. I think she is absolutely in the last chance saloon.
"I think it’s becoming abundantly clear when you look at the loss of confidence in her as Prime Minister from the general public, and increasingly I think the loss of confidence in her from the parliamentary party, that we are going to get to the point where she really does have to consider her position and for the good of the country, step aside, and I think we will probably come to that place quite soon."
Christopher Hope, The Telegraph’s associate editor, has written the following analysis this morning ahead of Liz Truss’s appearance at PMQs:
Finally, there are the first stirrings of a fight from 10 Downing Street to save Liz Truss and what is left of the Conservative Party’s reputation for running a country.
Tory MPs who just want Truss to get her act together have been delighted by the appointment of David Canzini, a strategist who has been in or around Tory eurosceptics for the past two decades.
One source from deep inside No 10 texted me: "We are fighting. We won’t be conned into losing our party."
You can read the full piece here.
Steve Double, a Tory MP, has said Liz Truss should "consider her position", according to Times Radio presenter Matt Chorley.
Here is his tweet:
Tory MP Steve Double tells me on @TimesRadio that Liz Truss's position is "increasingly untenable" and she will have to "consider her position"
Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams has warned that failing to keep the pensions "triple lock" promise would be “devastating” and a “flagrant breach of trust”.
She said older people were already risking their health by switching off essential medical equipment, lights, heating and fridges “because they worry worse is to come”.
She added: “If the Prime Minister decides to break her triple lock promise it would be devastating for the millions of older people who rely on the state pension, which is only worth about £9,000 a year on average anyway, as their main source of income.
“Knowing their state pension would keep pace with rising prices because of the triple lock has given precious hope to many older people at a time of great anxiety; for the Government to take that away from them now would be a hammer blow, as well as a flagrant breach of trust.”
Labour has published a new attack ad this morning which takes aim at the Government’s handling of the economy and the recent mini-Budget chaos.
It is essentially a compilation of a series of bad moments for Liz Truss: A minister insisting the Cabinet as a whole supported the mini-Budget, the PM saying sorry, a Tory MP saying the crisis had been "authored" in Downing Street, Penny Mordaunt telling the Commons the premier was not hiding "under a desk".
The video closes with Rachel Reeves claiming the Government has "lost its way" and the slogan: "Only a Labour government will grow our economy and protect working people".
It is an interesting video because it gives us a good sense of where Labour’s focus will be in the coming months as it tries to win over voters.
What we need now is financial stability & a real plan for growth.
That's why Labour will bring forward a vote today for government to immediately
➡️ Publish OBR forecasts
➡️ Publish docs showing how much a windfall tax on energy producers can bring in.pic.twitter.com/x75CuVC8MZ
Liz Truss is facing a make or break PMQs at noon today as she tries to save her premiership.
Her approach is likely to be built on two things: Showing contrition over the mini-Budget debacle and demonstrating to Tory MPs that she remains up for the fight against Labour.
Having already apologised for the mini-Budget we can expect the Prime Minister to repeat a similar message in the House of Commons today.
The premier will also come armed with attack lines designed to take the wind out of Sir Keir Starmer’s sails.
Ms Truss will undoubtedly enter the contest as the underdog. Tory MPs will be watching closely as they try to decide if the PM has a long term future in No 10.
Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s shadow chancellor, said: "The fault of this crisis lies squarely with No 10. Liz Truss’ premiership has been an unmitigated disaster – driving the UK economy to the brink of a recession and leaving the housing market and pensions on the verge of crashing.
"It’s time for the Prime Minister to pledge her commitment to securing the triple lock on pensions, and to increase benefits in line with inflation rather than wages.
"However, for as long as Scotland finds itself under Westminster control, we will continue to be at the mercy of government’s we do not vote for."
Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, responded to questions about the introduction of a potential wealth tax by a Labour government, saying: “We might, but I can’t make that commitment today.”
She told Times Radio: “We’re currently exploring, for example, how to meet the growing costs of social care. But one of the things we are very attracted to actually is not just looking at how we can tax people more, because the tax burden is already incredibly high – it’s risen several times over the last few years under this Tory Government."
Given that the Government is now considering dropping its commitment to the pensions "triple lock", Labour is also facing scrutiny over its position on the issue.
Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, today refused to commit to maintaining the promise to pensioners if Labour wins power.
Asked on Times Radio whether Labour can be “categorical” on its commitment to the "triple lock", she said: “Well, we can be categorical that we’ve consistently voted to keep it, and we don’t want to see more pensioners pushed into poverty.
“But what I can’t do today, and I’m not going to do, is make commitments for the next general election, which we think will be in a couple of years’ time, because we don’t know what we’re going to inherit from the Government."
Lisa Nandy has refused to rule out a Labour government increasing the highest rate of income tax above 45p.
The shadow levelling up secretary was asked the question during an interview on Sky News and she said: “We think those with the broader shoulders should bear the greatest burden. We supported keeping the top rate of income tax, we said that we would reverse the cut.
“We’ve been completely consistent on that and we’re not planning to change that position now. But we will set out proper measures ahead of the next general election. We have no idea what economic situation we’re going to inherit in 2024 at this stage.”
Asked if the Labour could increase the additional rate to 50p, Ms Nandy said: “As tempting as it is I’m not going to write a budget for the next Labour government live on Sky, although I’m sure that you guys will be the first to know once we have."
Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow levelling up secretary, has responded to James Cleverly saying earlier this morning that “mistakes happen” (see the post below at 08.50).
She told Sky News: “I mean, this is one hell of a mistake.”
She added: “They’ve crashed the economy. They’ve sent mortgage payments and rent increases through the roof. We’re still seeing that huge volatility coming through, interest rates expected to rise again.
“People just can’t take much more of this. I don’t get any sense, having spent the last couple of days in Parliament around Tory MPs questioning the Government, that there is any agreement amongst this divided party about where to go next.
“They started the fire, they sure aren’t the people who are going to go and put it out.”
A general election would not solve any of the problems facing the UK, James Cleverly has suggested.
The Foreign Secretary told LBC Radio: “If we see the things which are creating the challenges that we’re all facing, both domestically and internationally, I’m unconvinced that any of those things would be made better by a general election at the moment.”
He added: “Taking two months off for a general election campaign… I don’t think would be helping the people we are here to help, and that’s the British people.”
James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, said Jeremy Hunt is the “right guy” to be Chancellor.
He told LBC Radio: “Yeah, it is a tough job. Jeremy is absolutely the right guy. He is a very smart, a very experienced minister.
“He’s been working very, very closely with the Prime Minister to help us do the thing we all want to do, which is weather these difficult times ahead. And they are going to be tough. They’re tough for us.”
James Cleverly said the “plan is not to make mistakes” after he was asked how many more missteps Liz Truss can afford to make.
He told Sky News: “The plan is not to make mistakes. You don’t say: ‘Well, you know, I’ve got a certain number of mistakes that I’m allowed to make.’ We don’t aim to make mistakes.
“And actually the simple truth in life, in politics, in business, in life, is that mistakes happen. They do happen. What you’ve got to do is recognise when they’ve happened and have humility to make changes when you see things didn’t go right.”
James Cleverly said the Government takes its manifesto pledges “incredibly seriously” but he refused to be drawn on whether the “triple lock” on pensions will be kept or ditched.
Reacting to inflation rising to 10.1 per cent in September, the Foreign Secretary told Sky News: “We’ve seen those inflation figures, obviously the Chancellor is going to be making a statement to the House in just over a week’s time.
“The decisions that he and the Treasury team will be making will be very much informed by those figures.
“But boring, though, that is… you know that I’m not going to be pre-announcing any of the measures that might come in that statement on 31 (October).”
He added: “We do take manifesto commitments incredibly seriously, as you know.”
A Tory former pensions minister has said it would be “unforgivable” for the Government to drop its commitment to the pensions “triple lock” after No 10 confirmed the policy is under review.
Baroness Altman said she was “absolutely stunned” by the suggestion from Downing Street yesterday that the commitment could be ditched.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “I was absolutely stunned. Of course we need to be careful with public spending but we cannot move forward cutting state pensions, telling pensioners one minute we are promising to protect them in the middle of a cost of living crisis then we put that all at risk and say well, maybe we won’t then two weeks later the new Prime Minister promises that state pensions will be uprated by inflation and here we are just a few days after that when it is all up in the air again.
“There are millions of people in this country, frail, elderly people, particularly women who have little or nothing other than the state pension to live on who are extraordinarily worried now, once again that the promises that were made to them by this Government, both in the 2019 election and in the last few days are potentially going to be torn up.
“We have to be careful that we don’t just try and short change the elderly two years in a row in the middle of a cost of living crisis. That is unforgivable in my view.”
Robert Largan, the Tory MP for High Peak, published a piece yesterday about the "dangers of dumpster fires".
He wrote: "The longer the fire is left to rage, the greater the danger to the integrity of the skip, as the metal starts to warp and twist out of shape, beyond all recognition, eventually becoming completely unusable."
The piece was viewed in Westminster as a not-very-subtle shot across the bows of the Government.
His Tory MP colleague, William Wragg, has now said he agrees with Mr Largan’s assessment of the situation.
I share my Honourable Friend’s concern about this important issue. https://t.co/drUNmdd1MJ
Under the "triple lock", which the Conservative Party committed to in its 2019 manifesto, the state pension is increased every April in line with the highest of the previous September’s inflation rate, wage growth or 2.5 per cent.
That is why today’s inflation numbers from the Office for National Statistics are so important.
If the Government was to stick to the "triple lock" then the state pension would be in line to rise by 10.1 per cent next year.
The commitment to the "triple lock" is now under review, as confirmed by Downing Street yesterday, but there is already a growing Tory rebellion over the idea of dropping the pledge.
Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury spokeswoman, said this morning’s inflation figures demonstrate the nation is facing a cost of living "catastrophe".
She said: "In the midst of this cost of living catastrophe, pensioners and those relying on benefits cannot be undercut and left to struggle further.
"Liz Truss must act today to reassure the public and confirm in Parliament that pensions and benefits will rise to match inflation.
"Not one penny can be lost, to do so would be gross negligence and failure of our most vulnerable members of society."
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said this morning’s inflation numbers "will bring more anxiety to families worried about the Tories lack of grip on an economic crisis of their own making".
She said: "It’s clear that the damage has been done. This is a Tory crisis, made in Downing Street and paid for by working people.
"The facts speak for themselves. Mortgage costs are soaring. Borrowing costs are up. Living standards down. And we are forecast to have the lowest growth in the G7 over the next two years.
"What we need now is to restore financial credibility, and a serious plan for growth that puts working people first. That is what Labour will bring."
Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, has responded to this morning’s new inflation numbers (see the post below at 08.04).
He said: "I understand that families across the country are struggling with rising prices and higher energy bills.
"This government will prioritise help for the most vulnerable while delivering wider economic stability and driving long-term growth that will help everyone.
"We have acted decisively to protect households and businesses from significant rises in their energy bills this winter, with the government’s energy price guarantee holding down peak inflation."
Inflation is now back in double digits.
The Consumer Prices Index rose by 10.1 per cent in the 12 months to September this year, up from 9.9 per cent in August.
Inflation is now back at the 40-year high recorded in July.
James Cleverly was told that just last week Liz Truss had promised there would be no cuts to public spending but the arrival of Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor means that commitment has now been dropped.
The Foreign Secretary said he would not speculate on what Mr Hunt will announce when he unveils the medium term fiscal plan on October 31 as he admitted the Tories’ poll ratings are currently "disconcerting".
He told Sky News: “The people who are criticising the Prime Minister, and I get why people are frustrated, we look at poll numbers, of course it is disconcerting if you are a member of the Government. But my contention is the best way of addressing those poll numbers is to demonstrate to the British people that we are focused on their priorities, we are delivering on their behalf and if we do that those numbers will head in the right direction instead of the wrong direction.
“What I am not convinced by, far, far from convinced by, is that going through another leadership campaign, defenestrating another prime minister, will either convince the British people that we are thinking about them rather than ourselves or convince the markets to stay calm and ensure things like those bond yields and gilt yields start coming back down. Being angry I get. I totally get it, but that is an emotional response, it is not a plan.”
James Cleverly has suggested the same Tory MPs who ousted Boris Johnson from No 10 are now working to do the same to Liz Truss.
Told that a poll of Tory members found 55 per cent want Ms Truss to resign, the Foreign Secretary told Sky News: “We have gone through quite recently a situation where lots of people were saying Boris has got to resign and at the time I said okay, you might not be happy, but what is your plan for what happens next?
“For those people who defenestrated Boris, they didn’t have a plan for what’s happening next, they are now criticising the new Prime Minister, many of the same people, and I just say again, look, what we need at this point is we need to get focused on delivery, delivering those minimum service agreements so communities can get to work, delivering the infrastructure so that we can grow the economy, deliver calm, confidence to the markets.
“I don’t think any of those things would be served by removing another prime minister.”
Good morning and welcome to another huge day in Westminster.
Liz Truss is set to face MPs for the first time since sacking Kwasi Kwarteng and tearing up her mini-Budget as she attends Prime Minister’s Questions at noon.
It is a truly make or break moment for the PM as she tries to stabilise her premiership. A good performance against Sir Keir Starmer could help to restore some calm among restless Tory MPs but a poor performance could accelerate attempts to get rid of her.
It promises to be an eventful Wednesday and I will be on hand to guide you through the key developments.
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