Well it’s a Rishi Sunak vs Liz Truss face off for the Tory leadership.
Penny Mordaunt, the candidate I had picked to challenge Sunak in the final 2 for Tory members to decide, fell at the last big hurdle. But my choice of Penny was naively based on the premise that the race to succeed Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister would be fair and above board.
But in the 4 decades I have followed UK political leadership races I have never seen a candidate such as Mordaunt so smeared by her own at every turn. Mordaunt faced the barrage of attacks and character assassination by their own MPs and most of the Conservative leaning media as well the BBC.
The biggest winners of this final 2 is the Labour Party and Scottish National Party (SNP) for different reasons.
Off all the Tory candidates Mordaunt was one person the Labour Party feared because of her crossover appeal in key marginal areas and in London.
With either PM Sunak or Truss the SNP will feel empowered of success with another push for independence from the United Kingdom.
But I don’t feel Mordaunt will be gone for long as if (as some pundits expect) either PM Truss or Sunak get well behind Labour in the polls then their Tory MPs will not hesitate to dump then.
As one Tory supporting friend of mine said “they’ve cocked up really bad this time”
But the smears on Mordaunt by her own was similar to the smear attacks that the Tory media had done to Jeremy Corbyn (former Labour leader) and Nicola Sturgeon (SNP leader). But this latest onslaught was just on another level as brilliantly explained below
- Attacks on Penny Mordaunt are fresh evidence of Tory Islamophobia – Peter Oborne, Middle East Eye
- Press attacks take toll as Penny Mordaunt misses out in PM race – Jim Waterson and Jessica Elgot, Guardian
- ‘The establishment have won’: Iain Dale’s attack on media ‘stitch-up’ in Tory campaign – LBC
Sunak vs Truss – Tories gift to Labour