Tory MP blasts Nadine Dorries for tweet criticising Rishi Sunak’s £3,500 suit.
“Dame Nads” shoots from the lip again! What fun!
After all, what’s £3,500 to Richy? – Owl
Emily Ferguson inews.co.uk
Bitter Tory leadership infighting has already broken into the open after Boris Johnson ally Nadine Dorries prompted fury for mocking Rishi Sunak for wearing an expensive suit.
The Culture Secretary, who is backing Liz Truss to be the next Tory leader and prime minister, compared the former Chancellor’s pricey suit to the Foreign Secretary’s £4.50 earrings.
It is the latest sign that the race to replace Mr Johnson is becoming a toxic, highly personal battle.
Ms Dorries shared an article on Twitter that reports that Mr Sunak has been pictured wearing a £3,500 suit and £490 Prada shoes.
In a bid to promote Ms Truss over her rival, she claimed that the Foreign Secretary is more likely to be seen in a pair of earrings from high street chain Claire’s.
She said: “Liz Truss will be travelling the country wearing her earrings which cost circa £4.50 from Claire Accessories. Meanwhile…
“Rishi visits Teeside in Prada shoes worth £450 and sported £3,500 bespoke suit as he prepared for crunch leadership vote.”
The tweet, posted just before 8am on Monday, has been heavily criticised by the public, political commentators and even a Tory MP.
Guildford MP Angela Richardson, a supporter of Mr Sunak, shot back: “FFS (for f***’s sake) Nadine! Muted.”
Meanwhile, tory MP Johnny Mercer, called on the party to “raise standards”.
He said: “Back in Whitehall today – perhaps only a few weeks to make a difference. Probably worth remembering that on current trajectory we are out of power in two years time. The puerile nature of this leadership contest is embarrassing. Time to raise the standards.”
Dominique Samuels, a broadcaster, suggested such comments were unhelpful and damage the Tory party.
“Personal attacks like this on fellow colleagues is bizarre and actually harms the Conservatives rather than helps them. Nads should give this a rest,” she said.
Former Labour MP and Cabinet minister Jacqui Smith tweeted: “This is a nasty, silly, trivial tweet Nadine.
“I think we need a bit better from Cabinet Ministers and potential future PMs than a vision of you two pointing and sneering at Rishi’s outfit whilst comparing notes on cheap earrings. #MeanGirls”
David Linden, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, said: “Opposition MPs right now as we watch the Conservatives knock seven shades of excrement out of each-other for all to see.
“Fitting that the most dramatic performance should come from the Culture Secretary.”
Another SNP colleague, Stephen Flynn tweeted a popcorn and laughing emoji and said “they’ve barely even started”.
The Labour Party has branded the comments as “pathetic” and suggested Government ministers should be focusing their efforts on issues the electorate care about.
“The country is in the middle of a cost of living crisis,” a spokesperson said.
“But rather than get on with sorting out the mess they have created, Tory Government ministers are spending their days attacking each other on Twitter. Pathetic.”
The argument has been seen as a public example of reported blue-on-blue attacks as the Tory leadership contest gets increasingly bitter.
“They’re fighting each other,” one member of the public observed. “Nothing like seeing piranhas tear each other apart for power,” said another.
Mr Sunak and Ms Truss face their first live head-to-head TV debate on Monday evening as they both try to convince the Conservative Party grassroots that they are the right person to become the next Prime Minister.
The tory Tory leadership hopefuls will pitch their bids in front of a live audience of about 100 on Monday night as bitter clashes erupted over the weekend.
Pledges on immigration, China and tax cuts have seen the two candidates get personal, as they made attacks on the other’s respective policies.
The infighting, which comes after Tory MPs raised concerns that the earlier campaign debates were shedding too much light on blue-on-blue attacks, has led to calls from within the party to tone it down.