Kemi Badenoch ‘hits out at Rishi Sunak’s disastrous election campaign’ in first shadow cabinet meeting

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Kemi Badenoch has reportedly used Rishi Sunak’s first shadow cabinet meeting to criticise his election campaign.

At the meeting on Tuesday, the shadow housing secretary hit out at the former prime minister’s decision to call an early general election without informing his cabinet, describing the move as a mistake and bordering on “unconstitutional”.

She accused Mr Sunak of instead first telling a small group of colleagues, including his parliamentary private secretary Craig Williams, who she is said to have called a “buffoon” after he admitted placing a bet on the election date.

The Times reported Ms Badenoch is concerned the “enormity” of the Conservative Party’s landslide defeat is not being grasped by some colleagues and that she is urging a thorough post-mortem with lessons to be learned.

Ms Badenoch is said to have called Mr Sunak’s decision to leave D-Day commemorations early “disastrous”, arguing colleagues such as Penny Mordaunt would have kept their seats if he had stayed longer in France.

Kemi Badenoch has reportedly used Rishi Sunak’s first shadow cabinet meeting to criticise his election campaign (PA Wire)

Mr Sunak had reportedly opened the meeting with an apology.

Ms Badenoch’s remarks come after a number of shadow cabinet ministers paid tribute to Mr Sunak, with shadow chancellor Jeremy Hunt praising his “work ethic, dignity and commitment to public service”, which he said prevented the party suffering an even worse defeat.

A source told The Times of their surprise at how Ms Badenoch had “ripped into” Mr Sunak despite his apology.

Meanwhile, writing for the newspaper, James Cleverly warned against “bitter infighting” among the Tories and said his party needs to “get our act together” ahead of the race to replace Mr Sunak as leader.

Rishi Sunak’s first speech as leader of the opposition in the House of Commons (Reuters)

The shadow home secretary said the Conservatives need to conduct a “sensible post mortem on what went wrong and finding the right path forwards”.

He wrote: “As we do this we must remember two vital things. Firstly, it cannot descend into bitter infighting and finger-pointing. That is exactly how we ended up here.”

A narrower offer will not win back voters that have been lost to the left or right, Mr Cleverly warned.

He said: “We must get our act together. We need to unite in order to deliver.

“It will take humility and hard work, to recover our reputation for competence and integrity, to rebuild trust in our party, and unite behind a broad platform that will give people a reason to vote Conservative again.”

Source: UK Politics -


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