Thousands of Tory members have reportedly ditched the party since Rishi Sunak replaced Liz Truss as Prime Minister, according to Reform UK. The party claims it has gained 4,534 new members since Ms Truss resigned last month amid an economic fallout over her controversial mini-Budget in September.
Some Conservatives are said to be “furious” that Ms Truss was replaced by Mr Sunak, despite overwhelmingly winning the summer leadership contest.
Mr Sunak became Prime Minister in an uncontested leadership contest in October, as his rival Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race.
While Reform UK refused to tell The Telegraph how many members it has, it says many are former Tory campaigners who have expressed their frustration with the current Government.
One-in-three of these new members are from traditional Tory strongholds in the south-east and south-west of England.
Another eight percent are from London and 11 percent from eastern England.
Party leader Richard Tice said it was now holding new members’ events to welcome the huge number of new joiners.
He said they had been drawn in by the party’s pledges to “lower taxes” and commitment to prevent small boats from crossing the English Channel.
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One former Cabinet minister told The Telegraph that Mr Sunak is facing serious discontent over his appointment.
He said: “Anecdotally, there is a hell of a lot of anger out there over the failure to give them the vote.”
John Strafford, from the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, said on Monday that Sunak’s leadership had caused a “debacle”.
He added that there was “a price to pay” for excluding members from the vote.