Home » Former UK leader Liz Truss backs Trump and blames others for her ouster after 49 days

Former UK leader Liz Truss backs Trump and blames others for her ouster after 49 days

LONDON: During her 49 days as Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister, Liz Truss sparked mayhem on the financial markets and turmoil within her Conservative Party.
Now she is speaking up, and her message is: It wasn’t me.
In interviews and a new book, Truss robustly defends her economic record, blaming the “deep state,” “technocrats,” “the establishment,” civil servants and the Bank of England for her downfall.

“I’m not saying I’m perfect,” Truss told the BBC. But, she added, “I’m frankly not going to let them get off the hook.”

Traditionally, former British prime ministers keep quiet for an extended period after leaving office. Not Truss. In her grandly titled tome “Ten Years to Save the West” – which is being released on Tuesday – the former prime minister defends her actions, excoriates her many critics and offers her prescription for a better world.

Her ideas include abolishing the United Nations and backing Donald Trump for reelection – a departure from the convention that senior British politicians stay out of U.S. elections. “I believe that we need a strong America,” Truss told the BBC, adding that “the world was safer” when Trump was president. “I think that our opponents feared the Trump presidency more than they fear the Democrats being in office,” she said.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said Truss’ media onslaught “confirms her transformation into a radical right-wing populist.”

Truss became prime minister in September 2022 when she was elected by the governing Conservative Party to replace Boris Johnson after he was toppled by scandals.

Her promise to spur economic growth with tax cuts and deregulation enthused Tory members, but a budget containing 45 billion pounds ($54 billion) in unfunded tax cuts rocked the financial markets, drove up the cost of government borrowing and sent the pound to its lowest-ever level against the dollar.

The Bank of England had to step in to prop up the bond market and prevent a wider economic meltdown. Millions of people still have higher mortgage payments because of the soaring interest rates.

A tabloid newspaper set up a live camera on a head of lettuce and a photo of Truss and asked which would last longer. The salad leaf won, and the nickname “Lettuce Liz” was born.

In October 2022, Truss resigned and was replaced by Rishi Sunak, the rival she’d defeated just a couple of months earlier.

Truss has found plenty of other people to blame. She said that the central bank had kept interest rates too low, while the Office for Budget Responsibility – which provides the government with economic forecasts – had failed to warn her that British pension funds were heavily exposed to interest-rate fluctuations.

She is calling for the OBR to be abolished and for Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey to resign.

Opposition parties are incredulous – though also quietly pleased that Truss has popped up to remind voters of the mayhem the Conservative Party has presided over. A national election is due to be held later this year.

“Liz Truss blaming others for the economic chaos she caused will just add insult to injury for families suffering from soaring mortgage costs,” said Liberal Democrat economy spokeswoman Sarah Olney.

Given ample airtime this week to expound on her political views, Truss has railed against “extremist environmentalist dogma and wokeism” and said Britain’s institutions “have been captured by leftist ideas.”

Her targets include judges who have disagreed with government decisions. Truss wants to abolish the U.K.’s Supreme Court and let the government appoint the judiciary.

She’s also called for the abolition of Britain’s Human Rights Act and urged the United Kingdom to leave the European Convention on Human Rights. She also wants to ax the U.N, whose security council, she told the BBC, is “positively damaging.”

Bale, author of “The Conservative Party After Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation,” said Truss is “a human hand grenade at the moment that the Conservative Party can’t seem to bury or defuse.”

Truss, 48, remains a lawmaker, and plans to run for reelection. She has a good chance of holding on to her seat, even if the Conservatives are defeated nationwide, as polls suggest they will.

She does not rule out running for the party leadership again.

“I definitely have unfinished business,” she told radio station LBC. “Definitely.”