The Foreign Secretary, firm favourite to succeed Boris Johnson, appeared to put pressure on her rival Rishi Sunak to stand down as she shared the open letter from some of her prominent backers, including Lord Frost, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Sir Iain Duncan Smith
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Liz Truss is given yet another boost as 21 top Tories sign an open letter declaring she has what it takes to be the next PM

  • Truss appeared to put pressure on Sunak to stand down as she shared letter
  • Backers include Lord Frost, Ben Wallace and Sir Iain Duncan Smith
  • Signatories argued that only Miss Truss ‘has what it takes’
  • Letter was released as Sunak’s campaign appeared to stall 

Liz Truss called last night for the Conservative Party to ‘unite’ to take on Keir Starmer’s Labour as 21 current and former Cabinet ministers issued a declaration of support for her.

The Foreign Secretary, firm favourite to succeed Boris Johnson, appeared to put pressure on her rival Rishi Sunak to stand down as she shared the open letter from some of her prominent backers, including Lord Frost, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

The signatories, which include ten sitting and 11 past Cabinet ministers, argued that only Miss Truss ‘has what it takes’ and would break from the ‘tired economic managerialism of the past’ in a thinly veiled swipe at the former chancellor.

The Foreign Secretary, firm favourite to succeed Boris Johnson, appeared to put pressure on her rival Rishi Sunak to stand down as she shared the open letter from some of her prominent backers, including Lord Frost, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Sir Iain Duncan Smith

The Foreign Secretary, firm favourite to succeed Boris Johnson, appeared to put pressure on her rival Rishi Sunak to stand down as she shared the open letter from some of her prominent backers, including Lord Frost, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Sir Iain Duncan Smith

Last night, senior Tory Nusrat Ghani endorsed Miss Truss after weeks of remaining neutral in the leadership contest. Introducing her to the hustings in Eastbourne, East Sussex, the 1922 Committee vice-chairman cited Miss Truss’s record as Foreign Secretary and ability to unite the party.

The letter was released as Mr Sunak’s campaign appeared to stall, with his last high-profile supporters – Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps – emerging three weeks ago.

In the past week, former Conservative leaders Lord Hague and Lord Howard have endorsed Mr Sunak.

But in their open letter, the 21 senior Tories say Miss Truss’s record as Foreign Secretary and low-tax promises should see her become prime minister.

They wrote: ‘For us, there is only one candidate who has what it takes: Liz Truss. She has shown she will do what is necessary and right, even in the face of great adversity.

‘In challenging times, Britain needs a prime minister who can be trusted to deliver. Liz has a clear plan to grow our economy, founded on true Conservative principles of aspiration, enterprise and freedom, which will help fund our public services and NHS.

The letter was released as Mr Sunak's campaign appeared to stall, with his last high-profile supporters – Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps – emerging three weeks ago

The letter was released as Mr Sunak’s campaign appeared to stall, with his last high-profile supporters – Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps – emerging three weeks ago

‘She will unleash the huge opportunities of Brexit, break from the tired economic managerialism of the past and challenge failed groupthink.’

The backers include Tories from all regions of the country and wings of the party, such as Northern Research Group chairman Jake Berry, current Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former leadership rival Penny Mordaunt.

Miss Truss responded by saying, ‘it’s time to unite’, and said she would ‘unite our party, beat Keir Starmer, and… deliver for Britain’.

For his part, Mr Sunak has repeatedly insisted he will not quit the contest even if he falls further behind his rival.

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