Amber Rudd enlists help of Sir Lynton Crosby

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, pictured today in Manchester, has reportedly enlisted the help of Sir Lynton Crosby to help win back voters who deserted her

Amber Rudd has reportedly enlisted the help of David Cameron’s election guru – fueling rumours she preparing for a Tory leadership bid.

The Home Secretary is said to have turned to Sir Lynton Crosby to help shore up her seat after her majority took a battering, falling from nearly 5,000 to just 346 votes.

The election maestro was behind Boris Johnson’s London mayoral campaigns and helped orchestrate Mr Cameron’s shock victory in 2015.

But his reputation has taken a knock recently after he orchestrated Theresa May’s disastrous General Election campaign.

Ms Rudd’s move will fuel talk that she is lining herself up to take a run at the Tory leadership if Mrs May goes.

Activists from Labour and the Jeremy Corbyn-backing Momentum group have set their sights on her marginal constituency of Hastings & Rye.

They have sent activists in to pound the streets and have set up a crowdfunding campaign which has raised £1,774 to bankroll their ‘Get Rid of Rudd’ campaign.

They are zeroing in on controversial comments Ms Rudd said in 2013 in which she said that benefits claimants moved to her constituency for easy access to drink and drugs.

And she joked the seaside town looked ‘a bit depressing’ and indicated her decision to stand there was partly because she ‘wanted to be within two hours of London’.

Ms Rudd’s must convince Tory MPs that she can hang on to her seat if she is to stand a chance of winning their support and take a shot at the leadership.

Sir Lynton Crosby oversaw Boris Johnson's wining London mayoral campaigns and David Cameron's 2015 election victory

Sir Lynton Crosby oversaw Boris Johnson’s wining London mayoral campaigns and David Cameron’s 2015 election victory

According to The Times she has brought in Sir Lynton’s firm, CTF Partners, to help her beef up her appeal and take on the army of left-wing activists. 

The firm is to carry out polling exercises and focus groups to identify why Ms Rudd came so close to losing her seat.

The Australian maestro was credited with forging Boris Johnson’s career by running his successful bid to become London Mayor.

One of his signature manoeuvres is the ‘dead cat’, or making an announcement that demands attention to distract from another damaging issue.

Mr Cameron rewarded him for his role in the election battle two years ago with an honorary knighthood. 

Theresa May, pictured at the Tory Party conference in Manchester today, is facing fresh questions over her leadership after Boris Johnson, pictured in Manchester this morning, mounted a series of mischievous Brexit interventions  

It emerged last week that after the Tory election disaster a coterie of leading liberal Tories decided that Ms Rudd would be their best candidate. But her wafer thin majority is holding back her chances.  

The group was said to include David Cameron, Sir John Major, George Osborne, according to a new book by Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times.

A former cabinet minister was quoted as saying they approached Ms Rudd at the time about the idea of her running for party leader and she was willing to discuss it. 

A spokesman for CTF Partners confirmed that the company was helping Ms Rudd but emphasised that its work was limited to her constituency. 

Sir Lynton, 61, and Ms Rudd are yet to speak directly, according to a source close to the elections guru told The Times.