Stuart Rose, the veteran retailer and Tory peer, has urged Boris Johnson to quit No10 now, describing him as a ‘lame prime minister’.

His comments came as a string of Tory business leaders and donors, from hotelier and Brexit supporter Rocco Forte to telecoms entrepreneur David Ross, reacted to Johnson’s resignation and called for his successor. to bolster the UK’s long-term economic outlook amid fears. of an impending recession.

It has been suggested that Johnson could remain caretaker prime minister, possibly until the fall when a new leader of the Conservative Party is elected.

Lord Rose, chairman of Asda and former boss of Marks & Spencer, said: ‘It has taken too long to happen and it is not viable to continue with a paralyzed and lame Prime Minister until the autumn . No one seems to be addressing the serious issue of the economy. This political crisis has paralyzed everything.

A new leader will have to deal with a deteriorating economy, with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, energy prices set to rise further as winter approaches, and predictions from some economic economists. an impending recession.

However, Archie Norman, chairman of M&S and a former Tory MP, said leaving Johnson could open a new chapter in British politics beyond the focus on Brexit. “The public is thirsty for a new civility in public discourse,” he said. “It means a more adult tone, outspokenness and respect for the truth, however unpleasant it may be.”

Norman said he first met Johnson in 1994 when he was a journalist. “He was a good colleague when I was in Parliament. It was sad to see his regime degenerate. But now is a great opportunity to embark on a new post-partisan era, to stop framing every issue in the context of Brexit, and to reach out across the water to bring together all the talent of the Conservative Party to build a real recovery. plan for the UK economy.

Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Tories, has urged the next Prime Minister to ‘continue the hugely important leveling agenda, creating equal opportunities for all across the Kingdom -United”. He said: “We also need to be really focused on selling post-Brexit Britain to the international community and being clear with them about our economic vision for the future and how it’s a great place. to do business.”

Forte, who gave Johnson £100,000 for his last election campaign, said Johnson’s regime “was not a pro-business, pro-corporate government”. He said policies such as the windfall tax on oil and gas companies had been “myopic”.

“The government has a very short-sighted view – the idea that we have to repay Covid debts immediately is nonsense. I hope whoever comes next will have a more coherent and long-term view of the economy.

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John Caudwell, the billionaire founder of Phones 4U, called on the next prime minister to take “an even stronger leadership in support of Ukraine” and to urgently tackle climate change. He said he wanted them to get “appropriate assistance to the suffering most vulnerable during the current cost of living crisis”.

Caudwell sent a plan to former Chancellor Rishi Sunak to rebuild the economy after Covid focusing on infrastructure, foreign investment, an environmental Silicon Valley and learnings. “In this and all other ways, fight hard to keep Britain ‘great’,” he said.

Donors were reluctant to support a single candidate to succeed Johnson. Forte said there was ‘no obvious successor’, adding that Steve Baker, the MP for Wycombe, was ‘a very good man who has the right ideas to move the country forward’ but lacked leadership. support within the Conservative Party.

Ross said it was too early to name his preferred candidate and he would wait to see the “philosophy” of the next regime before donating again. Caudwell said new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi’s experience in business meant he had “a lot to offer” and former health secretary Sajid Javid was a strong candidate.

Jim O’Neill, the former Treasury minister and peer from all walks of life, said: “We need a leader who has a coherent policy to try to increase our productivity.”


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