A TORY former minister has called on Conservative MPs to oust Rishi Sunak or face a “massacre” at the next General Election.

Sir Simon Clarke, who served in the Treasury while Sunak was chancellor, said “extinction is a very real possibility” with the current PM at the helm in a piece for the Telegraph.

He said that Sunak “has gone from an asset to an anchor” and that although he was not fully to blame for the party flagging in the polls, “his uninspiring leadership is the main obstacle to our recovery”.

The National:

“The unvarnished truth is that Rishi Sunak [above] is leading the Conservatives into an election where we will be massacred,” he wrote.

Other senior party figures hit back by warning colleagues against putting leadership ambitions before duty and engaging in “facile and divisive self-indulgence”.

Former Brexit secretary Sir David Davis said: “The party and the country are sick and tired of MPs putting their own leadership ambitions ahead of the UK’s best interests.”

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Former home secretary Priti Patel said: “At this critical time for our country, with challenges at home and abroad, our party must focus on the people we serve and deliver for the country.

“Engaging in facile and divisive self indulgence only serves our opponents, it’s time to unite and get on with the job.”

Former defence and trade secretary Liam Fox meanwhile said those attempting to “destabilise the Government in an election year should understand the consequences”.

Former prime minister Liz Truss (below), whose 2022 leadership bid Sir Simon threw his support behind before serving as levelling up secretary in her Cabinet, does not back his intervention, it is understood.

The National: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

Downing Street has been contacted for comment.

Clarke was among 11 Conservative MPs who voted against the Prime Minister’s Rwanda Bill at its third reading earlier this month, despite Sunak seeing off a wider Tory rebellion.

His intervention comes amid a slew of wider challenges facing the PM, including opinion polls that show a healthy Labour lead and making progress on pledges to “stop the boats” and revive Britain’s sluggish economy.

As infighting broke out on Tuesday night, opposition critics accused the party of embroiling itself in another “circular firing squad” and subjecting voters to a “never-ending Conservative soap opera”.

Stephen Flynn jokingly took to Twitter to comment: "Give it to Big Sam till the summer."

Elsewhere, Labour’s national campaign coordinator Pat McFadden said: “There are many good reasons for getting rid of this clapped-out Conservative government and liberating the British people from endless bouts of Tory infighting is certainly one of them.

“Whilst the Conservatives fight among themselves, Labour will fight for a better future for the country, where economic growth is felt in every part of Britain, where we generate the wealth we need for the NHS, good schools and safety on our streets and where we renew the country after 14 years of Tory failure.”

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Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “It is utterly ludicrous that the Conservative Party is even discussing installing a fourth prime minister without even giving voters a say.

“The Conservatives are once again fighting like rats in a sack while families face soaring bills and an NHS crisis. People are sick and tired of this never-ending Conservative Party soap opera.”