NADINE Dorries has lashed out at senior Tories reportedly exploring the possibility of replacing Prime Minister Liz Truss with a joint ticket of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.

As Paul Goodman, the Conservative Home website editor, said the pair had been floated as replacements, the former culture secretary accused scheming Tories of trying to “overturn democracy”.

Goodman's warning came as new polling showed Labour could be set to win a number of so-called "Blue Wall" safe Tory seats at the next election, as Truss's leadership is rated poorly by the public amid economic turmoil sparked by the disastrous mini budget.

"All sorts of different people are talking about all sorts of different things because the Conservative backbenchers are casting around for a possible replacement for Kwasi Kwarteng, even for a possible replacement for Liz Truss," Goodman said.

READ MORE: Question Time audience erupts in laughter as Douglas Ross defends Liz Truss

"But one idea doing the rounds is that Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak, who, after all, between them got pretty much two-thirds of the votes of MPs, come to some kind of arrangement and essentially take over."

He went on: "I have to say I'm not very enthusiastic about this kind of idea myself, nor am I enthusiastic about the prospects of the Conservative Party junking what would be its fourth leader in seven years."

Under the current 1922 Committee rules, Truss cannot face a leadership contest until a year after her election. However, some Tory sources have suggested that a rule change could see the threshold for no-confidence letters met within "hours" - such is the level of anger among her party.

Dorries (below), a former Truss supporter and Boris Johnson loyalist, was furious at the idea of another party leader coming in.

The National: Culture secretary Nadine Dorries

The former Cabinet minister tweeted: “Those absurdly called grandee MPs (men) agitating to remove Liz Truss are all Sunak supporters.

“They agitated to remove @borisjohnson and now they will continue plotting until they get their way.

“It’s a plot not to remove a PM but to overturn democracy. #BackLiz”

However, Dorries herself had suggested there should be a General Election just last week, arguing Truss was taking the party in a different direction from the manifesto upon which the Tories won in 2019. 

Kwarteng flies to UK for emergency talks

The latest internal Tory row comes as Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is flying back to London for crisis talks with Truss amid intense speculation he will have to dismantle key elements of his controversial mini budget.

The Chancellor cut short his visit to the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC as Conservative MPs questioned whether he and the Prime Minister can survive the coming days.

After days of chaos, there was greater calm on the financial markets following reports that Kwarteng (below) is preparing to abandon parts of his £43 billion tax giveaway.

The National:

However, the situation remains precarious with the emergency support package put in place by the Bank of England to protect pension funds from collapse due to end on Friday.

Before he left the United States, Kwarteng insisted he stood by his economic growth plan and would be setting out how he intended to get the public finances back on track in a statement on October 31 as planned.

However, few MPs believe he can afford to wait that long, and in a later interview with The Daily Telegraph he said only “let’s see” when asked if he could ditch his promise on corporation tax.

The commitment to scrap the planned increase in the levy on corporate profits from 19% to 25% is widely seen as likely to be the first element to go if the expected U-turn goes ahead.

READ MORE: Kwarteng insists mini-budget position has not changed despite U-turn speculation

However, it is unclear whether that would be enough to settle the markets, which have already “priced in” significant changes.

The senior Conservative MP Mel Stride, who chairs the Commons Treasury Committee, said it was essential that the Government acted decisively if it was to restore confidence.

“The danger here is that they decide they are going to nibble at the edges of this and don’t think that will cut it,” he told the BBC.

“You could end up in that circumstance in the worst of worlds – that you’ve U-turned but it doesn’t settle the markets.”

Trade Minister Greg Hands, meanwhile, refused to rule out possible changes ahead of the October 31 statement, telling Sky News the Government “will make responses as appropriate as events happen”.