James Cleverly Hits Out At Cabinet Colleagues Over Tory Conference Rows

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrives for the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022. (Photo: Aaron Chown via PA Wire/PA Images)
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrives for the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022. (Photo: Aaron Chown via PA Wire/PA Images)

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrives for the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022. (Photo: Aaron Chown via PA Wire/PA Images)

James Cleverly has hit out at cabinet colleagues for airing their unhappiness in public after the Tory conference descended into open warfare.

The foreign secretary said the likes of Suella Braverman and Penny Mordaunt should raise their concerns directly with Liz Truss.

Braverman, the home secretary, accused Tory MPs of staging a “coup” after forcing the prime minister and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng to U-turn on their plan to axe the 45p tax rate paid by the highest earners.

Asked about her comments on Sky News, Cleverly said: “She chose the words that she chose. When you’re in government you have the opportunity to feed your ideas straight to the top of the machine - it’s always best done around the cabinet table or in cabinet committee meetings that we have. That’s how i would do it.

“I haven’t seen the complete context of what she said, but my view is anything to do with policy or the relationship with other ministers, always better to feed straight in to the boss.”

Mordaunt, the Commons leader, also piled fresh pressure on Truss when she called for benefits to be increased with the rate of inflation, despite the PM contemplating a real terms cut.

Responding to her intervention, Cleverly told the BBC: “I always think it’s better to feed your ideas directly into the centre of the system, because ultimately we’ve got to make decisions that work for the UK, we’ve got to make decisions for those people on benefits who need our support, but also for the people who pay the tax that fund our benefits and public services.”

The latest spat came ahead of Truss’s keynote speech closing the Tory conference.

She will tell activists she wants to create a “new Britain for a new era”, despite the turmoil of her first month in office.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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