Sunak to face MPs as authority dented by housing rebellion

Credit: PA

Rishi Sunak is set to face Sir Keir Starmer in Prime Minister’s Questions as he struggles with a Tory rebellion over policy, MP departures and lingering questions over his judgement.

A month after taking office vowing “stability and unity”, trouble is brewing for the prime minister on multiple fronts.

He reportedly pulled a vote due next Monday on government plans to build 300,000 homes a year as dozens of Conservative MPs threatened a rebellion, dealing a blow to his authority.

Nearly 50 backbenchers and former Cabinet ministers signed an amendment to the flagship Levelling Up Bill that would ban councils from taking centrally-set housebuilding targets into account when deciding on planning applications.

Meanwhile, two senior Tories on Tuesday announced they would stand down as MPs at the next general election.

Former work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith said she was quitting Parliament, followed hours later by William Wragg, who chairs the Public Administration and Constitutions Affairs select committee.

It comes as opinion polls showing the Conservatives facing an uphill battle at the next election – expected in 2024 – has the party bracing for a growing MP exodus.

Questions over Mr Sunak’s choice of Cabinet colleagues have not let up as Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab is set to be investigated over allegations of bullying behaviour.

The scope of the independent probe appears to be widening as the Guardian reported he is facing "multiple formal complaints" from his time in the Ministry of Justice, on top of the two formal complaints already made against him.

There is more misery ahead, with Mr Sunak warning his Cabinet on Tuesday that soaring inflation, strikes and spiralling NHS waiting lists will cause a “challenging” winter.

Food prices and energy bills have soared as inflation hit a 41-year-high of 11.1%, and the UK was forecast to suffer a deeper recession than allies.


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