'One horror story after another': Robert Halfon MP launches outspoken attack on Truss's leadership

Robert Halfon on A-levels
Robert Halfon MP has launched an angry attack on Liz Truss's leadership Credit: ITV

Conservative MP Robert Halfon has launched an outspoken attack on Liz Truss's leadership and called for a "dramatic reset".

Mr Halfon, the MP for Harlow, accused the Prime Minister of trashing the party's record over the past ten years and said she had abandoned "workers' Conservatism", though he stopped short of demanding her resignation.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Halfon said: "I worry that over the past few weeks, the Government has looked like libertarian jihadists and treated the whole country as kind of laboratory mice on which to carry out ultra, ultra free market experiments.

"This is not where the country is. There's been one horror story after another."

His comments came as new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP warned his reset of the disastrous mini-budget would involve "difficult decisions" that will affect "lots of walks of life".

Liz Truss, who is also the MP for South West Norfolk, installed Mr Hunt in the Treasury after recalling Kwasi Kwarteng from Washington on Friday to sack him as Chancellor. Mr Kwarteng had been in the post for just 38 days.

Mr Halfon said: "At this time, I'm not calling for the Prime Minister to go. I worry about further political instability, but even more economic instability. But things have to improve.

"Because if things don't change, I just think that perhaps things may not be able to carry on in the way that they have been."

Urging a "dramatic reset", he said the Government needed to apologise for the chaos of recent weeks.

Liz Truss Credit: Daniel Leal/PA

Mr Halfon was angry over negative briefings which appeared in the Sunday newspapers about former chancellor Sajid Javid, amid suggestions he was considered as a replacement for Kwasi Kwarteng.

The Tory MP labelled the comments about his friend "disgusting".

He told Sky News: "The briefings that have come out using four-letter words to describe Sajid Javid, I've known him since university, he's a really good man, he was respected.

"He didn't tank the economy when he was chancellor and if the Prime Minister wants to unite the party and get people around her, then these kind of negative briefings about colleagues have got to stop.

"All it does is bring disharmony to the party when what the Prime Minister should be doing is doing everything possible to bring people together, bring the country together."

Mr Halfon did not deny that some of his colleagues are plotting about how to remove Liz Truss as Prime Minister.

"Of course, colleagues are unhappy with what is going on," he told Sky News.

"We've haemorrhaged in the opinion polls. The public just can't understand what has happened. Many of them are frightened about their future and the cost of living.

"It's inevitable that colleagues are just, we're all talking to see what can be done about it."

Former health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said the Prime Minister needed to reshuffle her cabinet.

Speaking to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg about the prospect of a leadership contest, Mr Hancock said: "I don't think we're there yet," but he added she needs to do three things: deliver an economically-credible plan, reshuffle her Cabinet, and restore trust.

"She needs to bring the broad Conservative Party in her Government. She needs a reshuffle," he said.