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Mordaunt’s team share article ‘in error’ saying Tory MPs will ‘murder party’ if they vote for Sunak and Truss

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Penny Mordaunt’s team has shared an article “in error” that warned Tory MPs will “murder the party” they love if they vote for either Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss in the Tory leadership contest.

The column by Telegraph journalist Alison Pearson also argued “obliteration for our party at the 2024 general election is practically guaranteed” if either win the race.

The headline of the piece — posted on Mr Mordaunt’s social media — read: “Tory MPs — vote for Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss today and you’ll murder the party you love”.

Endorsing Ms Mordaunt, the article added: “Mordaunt is a threat to the old guard who think they are guaranteeing the survival of the Conservative party, but, by plotting to install one of the usual suspects, they are murdering the thing that they love”.

However, within minutes of the headline of the article being posted, it was deleted from Ms Mordaunt’s official Twitter feed.

A source in her campaign told The Independent: “The campaign tweeted this in error without having seen the headline.”

It comes as the first stage of the Tory leadership enters its final hours, with Ms Mordaunt, Ms Truss, and the former chancellor Mr Sunak vying for a position in the final two.

Penny Mordaunt’s deleted tweet

(Twitter)

Ms Mordaunt’s camp also turned its fire on Ms Truss, the foreign secretary, saying: “Liz Truss will not be able to win a general election and would put MP’s seats at risk.”

They added: “Today is about continuity vs change for the Conservative Party. Penny’s been speaking with colleagues already this morning and so many of Tom and Kemi’s backers are calling out for change.

“As the only one not in Johnson’s cabinet, Penny is the sole MP left in the race who offers the party and country a genuine fresh start. MPs, party members, and voters across the country are crying out for something new but only Penny Mordaunt can deliver that.”

On Wednesday morning, Ms Mordaunt, a trade minister, also won the support of former cabinet minister Damian Green, who said she offers a “chance to unify” the Tories.

With the fifth ballot due to open at 1pm and Mr Sunak leading the MPs’ vote, both Ms Mordaunt and Ms Truss are battling to secure a place in the final stage of the contest where Tory members are given a vote.

Ms Truss insisted that she was the “only person who can deliver the change” the UK needs which is in “line with true Conservative principles”.

The foreign secretary picked up 15 votes to command the support of 86 Tory MPs on Tuesday while Ms Mordaunt increased her share by 10 to sit on 92. Both are now scrambling to win the support of MPs who backed Kemi Badenoch, who was eliminated on Tuesday.

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