Clearly there is serious unrest and a lot of infighting within the present Tory party. That much is plain from the reports in the media.

There are a number of predictable political axes on which MPs might take sides - Right wing v One-nation/Brexiters v non-Brexiters/ Johnsonites v Sunakites/ Deficit addicts who backed Truss v supporters of anti-inflation measures/ Supporters and haters of Wendy Morton etc.

Somebody like Jacob Rees-Mogg is clearly a Brexiter and a right-winger, but he supports Johnson against Sunak. Steve Baker is also a right winger and ERG Brexiteer but he dislikes Johnson and supports Sunak. Andrew Bridgen, another ERG backer seems to have fallen out with everyone.

Jeremy Hunt was an anti Brexiter, and traditional one-nation Tory, but he agreed to rescue the ship under Liz Truss and has now been kept on by Sunak, sitting in Cabinet with the likes of Suella Braverman - strange bedfellows indeed.

Where on earth does Gavin Williamson sit? Does he have the support of other Privy Councillor excludees from attendance at the Queen's funeral? Or do others among them sit happily in Cabinet, and remain on good terms with Wendy Morton? The last-named was appointed Chief Whip by Liz Truss, who was supposedly Johnson's choice as successor, and who retained many of BJ's supporters, yet Williamson who had been a favourite of Johnson who awarded him a knighthood and Privy Councillorship is now at daggers-drawn with Morton.

Can anyone provide a schematic diagram that explains these factional disputes, or is there no logical rationale and has the party descended into the chaos of every-person-for-themselves?

  • 4
    A problem with seeking logical rationales for Tory factions is that there's a considerable amount of magical thinking going on within the party. Truss & Kwarteng seem to have really believed that their economic policy would produce immediate rapid growth and be hailed as far-sighted by everyone, ignoring the issues with borrowing and inflation that were obvious to everyone else. Some of the Brexiters still seem to believe that if something they can't describe is done, then everything will change for the better. Many party members seem to believe that their getting richer is all that matters. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 16:55
  • There's no diagram because people might disagree on any topic - or none, if they happened to simply dislike someone. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


The level of detail you are asking for is probably impossible to provide. Partly because the factions are not static as tribal loyalties shift under various political tensions.

Here are some recent link efforts. This would be a wall of text to import so it seems better to just give you some starting points.


Telegraph Paywall

Politics Shed

Politics Shed provided this diagram, which shows how some of these factions overlap.

overlap from Politics Shed

This older question in includes links to an FT article(Paywall) showing the Tribes for 2017. Note the lack of many of the groups now. Question

But also because these factions are secret. Here's a clip of the current Home Secretary (As of Nov 2022) refusing to disclose membership of the ERG whist accepting that the ERG was funded with public money.


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    There's a lot of talk in the media about more-or-less secret WhatsApp groups of Tory MPs, and we don't know what deals were done e.g. to establish Sunak as leader, so definitely a lot of secret associations. But still, some good material.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 14:05
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    Thank you for that - a creditable effort. But as you will be aware there is so much missing. I'm surprised that the compiler did not even include a ring for the ERG. And there are of course well over 300 Tory MPs, but only 12 shown here.
    – WS2
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 16:43
  • @WS2 you could say the same for cabinet positions.
    – Jontia
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 18:25

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