Liz Truss aides ‘pretended her relatives had died’ to get her out of going on TV

Staffer claims only ‘minor people like aunts and cousins’ were killed off

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Thursday 20 October 2022 22:39 BST
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Liz Truss's aides 'pretended her relatives died' to get her out of media appearances

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Liz Truss's aides would concoct stories about family members dying in order to get the top Tory out of television appearances, it has been claimed.

Kirsty Buchanan, who worked for the new prime minister when she was justice secretary, said Ms Truss did not like doing media.

“She didn’t like the media, so we used to spend quite a lot of time making up excuses and killing off minor members of her family so she didn’t have to go on Question Time,” Ms Buchanan, a former political journalist who has also worked in No.10 said.

Speaking on the Whitehall Sources podcast, the ex-aide clarified : “Only minor people like aunts and cousins and things — I’m not talking about major members of the family.”

Eventually Ms Buchanan said Ms Truss's team “ran out of excuses” and the Tory MP had to appear on the flagship BBC politics programme .

The claim comes as the prime minister on Wednesday pulled out of a scheduled official visit where she was expected to have to speak to broadcasters.

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Last week Ms Truss also dashed out of a press briefing on the government's economic policy after just four questions and seven minutes of scrutiny.

The prime minister earlier this month did a series of local radio interviews in which she was repeatedly put on the spot by presenters.

During the Tory leadership campaign she admitted she was not a polished speaker. She held the role of Justice Secretary between July 2016 and June 2017.

Despite Ms Truss's former aide’s claim the prime minister has appeared regularly on BBC Question Time – a total of nine times between 2012 and 2019.

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