Can Liz Truss salvage her premiership? ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana reports
As Liz Truss fights for her political life, her popularity with the British public has plummeted to a new low, a poll has showed.
Her reversal of her flagship economic policy and an appointment of a new chancellor has done little to lift the public mood, with just 10% of Britons having a favourable opinion of the prime minister, with 80% viewing her unfavourably, the YouGov survey showed.
Among Tory voters her support also continues to plummet: 20% had a favourable view of their party’s leader, with 71% having an unfavourable view.
After meeting with her Cabinet on Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister is meeting with members of the European Research Group (ERG) this evening. Table-banging was heard as she entered the room, with attendees including Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, and the ERGs chairman, former minister Mark Francois.
According to her deputy press secretary, the Prime Minister told the group that she found axing her tax-slashing programme “painful” and did it “because she had to”.
Also speaking after the meeting, Mark Francois told journalists “She [Ms Truss] was absolutely committed to see a robust outcome regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Very, very clear about that. Remember that she, when she was foreign secretary, was involved in toughening up that legislation.”
Mr Francois said the meeting had been “positive”.
MPs ended the day with a reception at Downing Street - but didn't offer comment to journalists as they left.
It comes after Ms Truss apologised for “mistakes” in her early premiership in a bid to pacify restless Tory colleagues and shore up her authority after she sacked her former chancellor and abandoned her economic agenda in a bonfire of tax-cutting policies.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey called on his colleagues to get behind the prime minister as he admitted no one in the Cabinet had questioned Ms Truss's economic plans when it was set out to them by then-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
Almost all of the measures announced by Mr Kwarteng on September 23 were abandoned on Monday by his successor Jeremy Hunt after the financial markets reacted badly to the £45 billion of unfunded tax cuts contained in the mini-budget.
Mr Heappey told ITV News the prime minister and Cabinet had "failed to see" the impact the growth plan would have on the markets amid the current global economic crisis.
Prospect of cuts "extremely worrying" says NHS Confederation member
One member of the NHS Confederation told ITV News that the prospect of spending cuts was "extremely worrying."
Layla McKay said: "This time last year there was an assessment and the government agreed on a particular amount of money the NHS needed.
"Since then there has been so much inflation and other such things that the NHS is actually four billion pounds down on where they expected to be.
"Everybody is squeezing everything as much as is humanly possible."
The new chancellor has hinted that cuts will need to be made - but has said these won't affect the quality of public services.
It's also possible that the levelling up agenda, a keynote set of policies set out in the Tory's manifesto during the last general election, could be scaled back.
Levelling up minister Paul Scully told the BBC that there were “difficult choices” over public spending to come.
“I think what you’ll find is… that public spending will go up but slower than would have otherwise been expected," he said.
“And what you’ll find as well (is) that it will still go up in some areas and not in others because it’ll be targeted at those frontline services that are absolutely crucial."
"What I failed to see, what the prime minister failed to see, what the Cabinet collectively failed to see was how cumulatively the size of that package was not expected by the City" - Armed Forces Minister James Heappy on Liz Truss's now torn up economic plans
"Each and every measure that was announced as part of that fiscal plan, I could see how it was coherent with the vision for low taxes driving growth. I could see how it would make the UK a more attractive place to invest," Mr Heappey told ITV News.
"What I failed to see, what the prime minister failed to see, what the Cabinet collectively failed to see was how cumulatively the size of that package was not expected by the City and it caused a collapse in confidence in UK gilts.
"And what that went on to do because of the connection with the pension funds and the gilts market, is that it went on to threaten a number of really big pension funds with all of the economic consequence that that would have brought."
But he said Ms Truss appointing a new chancellor and rowing back on her growth plan showed "leadership".
He said the Conservatives had a choice - to unite behind Ms Truss or "kid" themselves that a fourth prime minister in six years would dispel "all of the rancour that exists in the party would disappear".
"Everything she has campaigned on has now been smashed to smithereens" - Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves says there is "nothing left" of Liz Truss's premiership
Ms Truss has suggested she believes she can weather the storm that has rocked the party in recent weeks, as she vowed to lead the Tories into the next general election.
But Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said "the damage is done" as she repeated Labour's call for a general election
"This is a Tory crisis made in Downing Street but being paid for by ordinary working people who are now facing higher mortgage costs, higher borrowing costs, because of the mistakes of this Conservative government," she told ITV News.
"I welcome the fact that the prime minister has finally apologised but there is nothing left of her premiership. Everything she has campaigned on has now been smashed to smithereens by her latest choice of chancellor."She added: "An arsonist is still an arsonist even when they turn up with a bucket of water and run back into the burning building," she said as she repeated Labour's call for a general election.
Ms Truss held a meeting with the Cabinet this morning and is expected to hold talks with the hardline European Research Group (ERG) of Eurosceptic Tory MPs who have an enormous influence over the Conservative party in recent years later.
However, former cabinet minister Liam Fox said the prime minister was on "thin" ice but that the priority for MPs was economic and political stability.
"I wouldn't want to underestimate the political pressures, but what I would say that MPs are thinking, today especially, very much about the economic position, maintaining market confidence and ensuring we don't have any unnecessary political upsets," he told ITV News.
"We have made mistakes, I'm sorry for those mistakes"
In an interview with the BBC, aired on Monday night, the PM admitted to and apologised for “mistakes” during her short tenure to date.
She said she has “adjusted what we’re doing” after the government’s fiscal policies spooked the markets, putting in place a new chancellor with a fresh strategy to “restore economic stability”.
“I do think it is the mark of an honest politician who does say, yes, I’ve made a mistake,” she said.
Earlier, she sat silent in the Commons for roughly 30 minutes as Jeremy Hunt – the new chancellor – told MPs he was scaling back the energy support package and ditching most of the tax cuts announced by his predecessor.
Mr Hunt also suggested the triple lock on state pension increases could be scrapped, as he refused to make any commitments on “individual policy areas”.
The PM told the BBC she wanted to “accept responsibility and say sorry for the mistakes that have been made”.
“I wanted to act… to help people with their energy bills, to deal with the issue of high taxes, but we went too far and too fast. I’ve acknowledged that,” she said.
Ms Truss became prime minister after winning the Tory leadership contest on the back of promises to dramatically cut tax.
But she has been humiliated by a raft of U-turns after last month’s so-called “fiscal event” sparked chaos in the markets.
Under current party rules Ms Truss is protected from a leadership challenge for 12 months, but that could change if enough Tory MPs demand it.
The pressure on the prime minister gained traction on Monday, with the number of Tories openly calling for her to go rising to five.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know