Conservatives now face existential threat, says former cabinet minister David Davis

Then Brexit secretary David Davis and Liz Truss, arriving in Downing Street in 2018. Credit: PA

David Davis - a long-standing Conservative MP and former cabinet minister and leadership contender - has warned that his party is facing as “existential threat”. 

He said the party’s 1922 committee of backbenchers needed to come up with a fast process to elect a new leader, suggesting it was inevitable there would eventually be enough no confidence letters delivered by MPs. 

“I feel very sorry for Liz Truss right now but what is happening could be existential for the Conservative Party,” he told ITV news. 

“At some point there will, unfortunately, be enough letters of no confidence and then the 1922 committee will have to come up with a process for the new leader.”

Davis suggested increasing the number of nominations needed from MPs from 20 to 30 or 40 or 50 so only a handful of candidates can get through.

 “And then we could have a vote of MPs within days," he said. 

He argued there should be a separate vote of MPs on the final two so "the country and members can see the opinion of MPs". 

"Then we could go to the members with online hustings and have the process done in a week. That wouldn’t reduce confidence it would build it as we would be moving to stability." 

But other MPs told me they did not want members included in the process. 

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know