Rishi Sunak was boosted today with more evidence the Tories are clawing back ground after he become PM.
In the wake of Liz Truss‘s disastrous tenure, an Opinium poll found that Labour’s lead has been trimmed from 27 points to 16 points over the past week.
Although that is still enough for Keir Starmer to secure a huge majority at a general election, Downing Street will be relieved that the dramatic jettisoning of Ms Truss’s policies is cutting through to voters.
Michael Gove today offered an extraordinary apology to the British public for the Conservatives putting Ms Truss in charge for 49 days.
The Levelling Up Secretary, who was a vocal critic of the tax-slashing plans that sent markets into meltdown, said he understood people’s anger that the government had taken a ‘holiday from reality’.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Sunak gave a fresh warning about ‘difficult decisions’ as he and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt draw up a Budget expected to include £50billion in spending cuts and tax rises.
In the wake of Liz Truss’s disastrous tenure, an Opinium poll found that Labour’s lead has been trimmed from 27 points to 16 points over the past week
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Sunak (pictured visiting a London hospital on Friday) gave a fresh warning about ‘difficult decisions’
The PM – who moved into Downing Street at the weekend – insisted inflation is the ‘No1 enemy’ and controlling it is the only way of stopping interest rates spiking even higher.
However, Mr Sunak is facing fresh criticism for re-appointing Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, after she quit over leaking sensitive information under Ms Truss.
He is also under more pressure over shunning the COP27 summit in Egypt, with the UK’s COP27 president voicing disappointment and claims Boris Johnson will attend.
Opinium research carried out between Wednesday and Friday found Tory support was on 28 per cent, up five on the previous week.
Meanwhile, Labour was down six points to 44 per cent.
Mr Sunak has also regained the lead on economic competence. Some 33 per cent said they would prefer ‘a Conservative government led by Rishi Sunak’ to manage the economy, compared to 29 per cent who opted for ‘a Labour government led by Keir Starmer’.
The previous week 39 per cent chose a Starmer government, while just 11 per cent favoured ‘a Conservative government led by Liz Truss.’
It comes after YouGov research from Tuesday and Wednesday – as Mr Sunak became premier and took his first PMQs – found Sir Keir’s party had a 28-point advantage.
That was down from the eye-watering 37 points recorded four days earlier when it was not clear who would take over from Ms Truss.
The narrowing was partly down to the Conservatives bumping up to 23 per cent support from just 19 per cent, while Labour slipped from 56 per cent to 51 per cent.
Survation showed a similar clawing back of ground, with the Tories up by four in a week to 27 per cent and Labour down one to 51 per cent.
In an op-ed in The Sun, Mr Gove wrote: ‘We made the wrong choice this summer about the path we should take.
‘Plans to cut taxes targeted on the richest were a holiday from reality.
‘A mini budget that didn’t explain how spending plans would be paid for was an error. To put it mildly.’
Mr Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (left) are drawing up a Budget expected to include £50billion in spending cuts and tax rises. Michael Gove (right) today issued a grovelling apology for the Tories putting Liz Truss in Downing Street
Mr Gove was dramatically sacked by his old ‘frenemy’ Mr Johnson in the summer as his premiership collapsed. He threw his weight behind Kemi Badenoch and then Mr Sunak in the race to succeed him.
At the Tory Party conference earlier this month, Mr Gove was one of the ringleaders of the revolt against Ms Truss and then-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget, forcing a climbdown over the plan to scrap the 45p top rate of tax.
Furious allies of Ms Truss accused him of getting ‘his kicks in a sadistic way’.
Mr Sunak offered him a return to Government in his old role after taking over from Ms Truss in Downing Street.
Mr Gove said the new Prime Minister ‘has the experience, competence and compassion to steer us through the choppy economic waters ahead’.