Truss insists she doesn’t want to be PM again as she refuses to apologise for mortgage rate crisis

Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister had previously declined to rule out standing to be Tory leader

Kate Devlin
Politics and Whitehall Editor
Sunday 21 April 2024 14:26 BST
Liz Truss Claims She Does Not Want To Pm Again

Liz Truss has claimed she does not want to be prime minister again, a week after saying she had “unfinished business” with the Conservative Party.

Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister, famously outlasted by a lettuce, previously declined to rule out standing to be Tory leader, saying it was “never wise to rule anything out in politics”.

But in an interview with Sky News on Sunday, Ms Truss appeared to do just that, saying her new book was “not trying to reinstate myself as prime minister”.

Asked directly whether she would like to return to Downing Street, she said: “No.”

She also again refused to apologise for the banking crisis, which led to her being ousted from power by her own MPs after less than six weeks, saying that “mortgage rates have gone up across the world”.

But she did apologise for an antisemitic quote that made its way into her book, saying she was “very sorry” about that.

Defending her economic record, she reiterated her criticism of Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, even as she admitted she had never met him in person.

She said: “The issues that I faced in office were issues of not being able to deliver the agenda I’d set out because of a deep resistance within the British economic establishment.

“I think it’s wrong to suggest that I’m responsible for British people paying higher mortgages.

“That is something that has happened in every country in the free world.”

Liz Truss claims she does not want to be prime minister again
Liz Truss claims she does not want to be prime minister again (Sky News)

Labour has already accused Ms Truss of engaging in a “twisted victory lap”, with the publication of her new book about her time in office.

Ms Truss said the Bank of England governor was responsible for the market turmoil.

She said: “I faced real resistance and actions by the Bank of England that undermined my policy and created the problems in the markets.”

Earlier in the week, the former prime minister called for Mr Bailey’s head and demanded a “proper investigation” into the central bank’s response to her 2022 mini-budget.

Despite her criticism of the Bank chief, Ms Truss confirmed on Sunday she never met Mr Bailey.

“I actually had a meeting set up and wanted to meet him, but I was advised that would be a bad idea,” she said.

“Perhaps I shouldn’t have taken that advice, but that advice came from the cabinet cecretary, and what I didn’t want to do is further exacerbate the problems … But what I was very, very concerned about is the country was in a serious situation.

“I didn’t want to exacerbate that situation by making it worse. In retrospect, yes, I probably should have spoken directly to the governor of the Bank of England at the time.”

Ms Truss also said she would be “very happy” to meet Mr Bailey, who she has only ever talked to on Zoom.

She also accused Labour, which is trouncing the Tory party in the polls, of benefitting from a false narrative about her.

She claimed that a story had permeated about the events of autumn 2022 “that simply isn’t true. And the Labour Party have ridden off the back of that narrative.” She also claimed that those who made personal attacks against her “are people who don’t want to face the truth about the problems in our country”.

Turning her fire on fellow Conservatives, she claimed Theresa May’s government had not understood the true cost of net zero legislation when it put it into law.

She said: “I think it was a mistake to put in net zero legislation without understanding the true costs of it. In government you have lots of issues that you want to intervene on and deal with. You can't fight every battle. That's the reality. Having spent some time thinking about it, I think the legislation itself is problematic. So I have changed my view.”

She again reiterated her call for Donald Trump to win the next US election, but also said she wanted her successor – and bitter rival – Rishi Sunak to win the general election.

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