Liz Truss has claimed Britain is full of “secret Conservatives” who agree with her but just do not want to admit it.
Speaking at the launch of a new “Popular Conservatism” group on Tuesday, the former prime minister said her party had failed to take on “left wing extremists”.
Truss said the left had “repurposed” themselves as environmentalists, LGBT+ rights advocates and anti-racism campaigners to avoid detection.
“They don’t admit they are socialists or communists anymore,” she said. “It’s all about taking power way from people and families and giving power to the state.
“The problem is the Conservatives had tried to appease these people. We have tried to triangulate.
“For years and years and years - it goes back two decades - Conservatives have not taken-on the left wing extremists.”
Truss was first elected in 2010 and held ministerial roles continuously from 2012 until she was removed as prime minister in October 2022.
She said the right-wing had to “galvanise our conservative forces” as the general election looms.
“The left is tough. They try to drown us out,” she said. “We have to have the resilience and bravery to take on that fight.”
“This fight is not going to be easy, the left have been on the march.”
Truss said: “Britain is full of secret conservatives. People who agree with us but don’t want to admit it.”
The latest YouGov published on February 1 showed Labour on 44% and the Conservatives on 23%.
Ahead of today’s event, a survey by Savanta showed Truss herself had a net favourability rating of -54 - the least popular politician the firm asks voters about.
Truss also took aim at Tory MPs who were “looking to what job they might get after they leave parliament” and being “popular at London dinner parties”.
“I never get invited to London dinner parties,” she added.
It came after Kwasi Kwarteng, who served as Truss’ chancellor and helped devise her disastrous mini-Budget, announced he was quitting as an MP.
The event in Westminster was attended by several right-wing Tory MPs including former deputy party chairman Lee Anderson, ex-business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg and former home secretary Priti Patel.
But Mark Littlewood, the former Truss adviser who leads the “PopCon” group said it was not “about the leadership of the Conservative Party”.