'The Sheer Brass Neck': Unrepentant Liz Truss Hit By Tory Backlash

The former prime minister gave a tone-deaf speech defending her economic policies.
Liz Truss delivers an economic speech at Institute for Government this morning.
Liz Truss delivers an economic speech at Institute for Government this morning.
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Liz Truss has sparked outrage from members of her own party after defending the policies which led to economic meltdown in the UK.

In a speech this morning, the former prime minister insisted her plans to slash taxes for the rich and cut public spending were the right ones for the country.

That is despite last year’s mini-budget - which took place during her 49-day tenure as PM - sending interest rates soaring and leaving the pensions industry on the verge of collapse.

In the speech, Truss blamed the political left, the Bank of England and even members of her own party for the failure of her own policies.

She refuted claims that the mini-budget has “crashed the economy” by including £45bn of unfunded tax cuts.

“When people describe my policies as unfunded tax cuts, that is not an accurate description,” Truss said. “In fact, quite the opposite of being unfunded, these tax cuts could have increased funding for our public services.”

But her decision to re-enter the political fray was slammed by senior figures in her own party.

Rupert Harrison, a former top adviser to George Osborne when he was chancellor and now the Conservatives’ prospective parliamentary candidate for Bicester and Woodstock, took to Twitter/X to share his thoughts.

“The sheer brass neck of this” he said. ”To presume to offer advice after what happened. And still no genuine acknowledgment of the real mistakes that were made.

“Happily, nobody in the Conservative Party or the government is listening.”

Responding to Harrison’s post, former Tory minister Conor Burns said: “She is a drag anchor to any cause she attaches herself to. And toxic on the doorsteps. Only service she could provide is sustained silence.”

Truss insisted that the mistake she made was to do too much, too soon.

“It’s certainly true that I didn’t just try to fatten the pig on market day, I tried to rear the pig, fatten the pig and slaughter the pig on market day,” she said.

Truss, who said she will be attending next month’s Tory conference in Manchester, called on the government to reduce the tax burden to stimulate economic growth.

Rishi Sunak’s spokesman said the PM had not watched her speech, and defended the government’s policies.

He said: “Those with the most pay the most and we’ve taken more than three million out of taxation altogether since 2010.

“The chancellor has said he wants to reduce the tax burden further, but sound money must come first.

“The first priority must be halving inflation. That is the biggest and unfairest tax that hits the least well-off hardest and we are making progress to that end.”

On Truss’s decision to make the speech, he said: “It’s not unusual for MPs or former leaders to express their views in speeches. This isn’t any different.”


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