Seven best local radio takedowns of Liz Truss as she fails to defend ‘disastrous’ mini-Budget

The prime minister was interviewed on local radio on Thursday morning

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Friday 30 September 2022 10:19 BST
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Local radio stations grill Liz Truss in series of interviews

Liz Truss was interviewed across the BBC’s local radio stations on Thursday morning – where she was asked about the market chaos unleashed by her government’s budget.

If the prime minister was expecting an easy ride, she will have been surprised.

Here are seven of the most memorable moments where the morning show DJs put the prime minister on the spot.

‘Where have you been?’

The prime minister was welcomed to BBC Radio Leeds with a question about her whereabouts.

"Since Friday, when your Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget, the pound has dropped to a record low, the IMF has said that you should re-evaluate your policies and the Bank of England has had to spend £65 billion to prop up the markets because of what they describe as a 'material risk'. Where've you been?" presenter Rima Ahmed said.

After a moment of silence, Ms Truss replied: "Well, I think we've got to remember the situation we were facing this winter.

“We were facing a situation where people could have had to pay energy bills of up to £6,000, where inflation was increasing and where we were looking at an economic slowdown which would have had a huge impact right across the country, including in places like Leeds.”

'Reverse Robin Hood'

On BBC Radio Nottingham the prime minister was accused of a "reverse Robin Hood" by cutting taxes for the rich during a cost of living crisis. The prime minister has previously accepted that the tax cut would disproportionately benefit the most wealthy.

She replied that "the biggest part of" the budget was the previously announced assistance for households and business on energy.

'Are you ashamed of what you've done?'

BBC Radio Kent asked the prime minister whether she was "ashamed of what you've done" following the market turmoil prompted by her budget.

Pausing, Ms Truss replied: "I think we have to remember what situation this country was facing.

"We were going into the winter with people expected to face fuel bills of up to £6,000, huge rates of inflation, slowing economic growth.

"And what we've done is we've taken action to make sure that from this weekend, people won't be paying a typical fuel bill of more than £2,500."

'The same scripted answer'

By the time Ms Truss made it to BBC Radio Bristol, the Prime Minister was accused of giving "same scripted answer" to every local radio station,

She responded by giving a similar answer, saying the UK was facing a "very, very difficult economic situation" as a result of the war in Ukraine.

'This isn't about Putin'

On the same radio station the prime minister claimed the economic problems were the fault of Vladimir Putin. But the presenter hit back

"This isn't about Putin. Your chancellor on Friday opened up the stable door and spooked the horses so much you can almost see the economy being dragged behind them," she said.

'It sounds like you don't know'

On BBC Radio Lancashire the prime minister was asked what "local consent" for more fracking would look like.

But amid long causes, she appeared unable to define what it was and said this would be worked out.

"The Energy Secretary will be laying out in more detail exactly what that looks like, but it does mean making sure there is local support for going ahead," she said.

“It sounds like you don’t know," the presenter replied.

'By putting our mortgages up?'

During her interview on BBC Radio Stoke, the prime minister claimed that she wanted to "grow the size of the pie so that everyone can benefit".

The radio presented interjected: "By borrowing more and putting our mortgages up?"

The prime minister gave a lengthy pause before responding, before repeating her prepared lines. The government's unfunded tax cuts have prompted markets to expect interest rates to go to 6 per cent.

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