Nigel Farage's slated appearance at the unveiling of Liz Truss's "Popular Conservatism" project this week is poised to heighten the strain on Rishi Sunak's leadership. The event aims to galvanize right-wing Tory MPs and advocate for stringent immigration and tax policies ahead of the impending general election.
Among the distinguished guests expected at the London conference are Farage, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, and former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson. Their presence underscores the significance of Truss's initiative within the Conservative Party's ranks.
The PopCons Movement
Truss's brainchild, the PopCons movement, emerges as a response to her exit from Downing Street, with a mission to sway Sunak's policy direction. At its helm is Mark Littlewood, former head of the Institute for Economic Affairs, wielding considerable influence in shaping Truss's agenda.
Support and Objectives
Backed by former ministers Simon Clarke and Ranil Jayawardena, the PopCons movement seeks to reinstate democratic accountability and champion popular Tory policies. Its ultimate aim is to contribute to shaping the Conservative manifesto for the upcoming general election.
Truss's initiative adds another layer to the already complex tapestry of Conservative factions, alongside groups like the European Research Group and the New Conservatives. Recent legislative maneuvers, such as amendments to the Rwanda deportation bill, underscore the party's internal schisms and diverse policy priorities.
Farage's Return and Electoral Impact
Farage's anticipated presence at the PopCons launch coincides with speculation about his return to Reform UK, potentially complicating Sunak's electoral strategy. His involvement could attract voters concerned about immigration and pose a challenge to Sunak's campaign by potentially splitting the Conservative vote in crucial constituencies.