Rishi Sunak faces confidence vote ‘in two months’ as allies send him dire warning

Rishi Sunak could face a confidence vote “in two months” as allies send him an urgent warning ahead of the local elections.

Senior allies have now said that they believe that 52 no-confidence letters will likely be reached after the local elections as “all bets are off at that point”.

Those plotting to oust him have told The Times: “Events will take over, things just start to happen.”

One plotter said. “How do you go into this campaign saying I’m the man for the country and there’s 70 MPs behind you saying no f***ing way?”

This comes as Robert Halfon, a Sunak loyalist, resigned from his position as a Tory MP this week after 14 years in the job.

After announcing his shock departure, Halfon was reminded of what Gandalf from Lord of the Rings said when the hobbits were returning home.

He said: “I am not coming to the Shire…My time is over…And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help…among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.”

Halfon is the 63rd Tory MP to announce he is standing down before the election. It is the most since the run-up to Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.

His departure alongside that of armed forces minister, James Heappey, is a blow to Sunak. As George Osborne, the former chancellor, put it on his Political Currency podcast: “It feels like a bit of an end of an era.”

Professor Colin Rallings, an elections expert at Oxford University, believes the Tories are on course to lose half their councillors.

He said: “They are defending a set of local elections where even the most ardent and loyal member of CCHQ would say we’re going to get a hammering because we’re defending such a high watermark.”

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