William Wragg submits letter of no confidence
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William Wragg, who is vice chairman of the influential committee of Tory backbenchers, told MPs he would like to vote with Labour to ban fracking because he is opposed to it. However, because the vote is being treated as a “confidence motion” in Liz Truss’s embattled Government, he decided not to because he would lose the whip and his letter of no confidence in the PM would “fall”. Mr Wragg said he is “personally ashamed” by what occurred after the mini-budget and cannot tell his constituents in Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester, that “they should support our great party”.
“The lack of foresight by senior members of the Government, I cannot easily forgive,” he added.
He also said he found the “trashing” of the reputations of the Bank of England and the Office of Budget Responsibility during the Tory leadership contest to be “near Maoist in its nature”.
“Orthodoxy, Treasury orthodoxy came under attack,” he said. “I am a Conservative, I suppose orthodoxy goes hand in hand with that.”
Mr Wragg told the Commons “I oppose fracking” but added: “If I vote as I would wish, then I would lose the whip.
“I would no longer be vice chair of the 1922 Committee.
“I would no longer maintain a position as a chair of one of the select committees of the House.
“And indeed, because of that, my letter lodged with my honourable friend, the Member for Altrincham and Sale West (Sir Graham Brady), would fall, and I wish to maintain that letter with my honourable friend.”
The MP’s comments came during an opposition day debate on economic responsibility, which preceded the one on banning fracking.
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The 1922 Committee’s rules stipulate that a prime minister cannot face a confidence vote during their first year in office.
Outside the one-year grace period, 15 percent of the parliamentary party would have to submit letters of no confidence to committee chairman Sir Graham for a vote to be held.
It comes as Liz Truss’s embattled premiership has been rocked by the departure of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.
A Home Office source confirmed that Ms Braverman was out after the Prime Minister made a last-minute cancellation of a trip out of Westminster on Wednesday.
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Ms Braverman is a figure-head of the right in the party and the exit of a former Tory leadership candidate will create further challenges for Ms Truss as she struggles to maintain her grip on power.
The Guardian, which first reported her departure, said that former transport secretary Grant Shapps, a major backer of Rishi Sunak for the Tory leadership and a critic of Ms Truss, was being lined up to succeed Ms Braverman.
The Sun reported that Ms Braverman was sacked, but this has not been confirmed officially.
Ms Braverman, a former attorney general, only became home secretary on September 6 when Ms Truss brought her in to replace Priti Patel.
Her tenure as home secretary has been controversial, having accused Tory critics who successfully forced Ms Truss into U-turning over plans to scrap the top rate of income tax of a “coup”.
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