It's Looking Increasingly Bad for Liz Truss

Potential rule change could mean no-confidence vote as some Tories call for resignation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2022 11:09 AM CDT
UK's Big Question: Is Liz Truss Finished?
A man pulls down a banner held by two protesters as British Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, England, on Oct. 5.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

After just five weeks in the job of UK prime minister, Liz Truss has faced disaster after disaster to the point that "five of the PM's own MPs have called publicly on her to resign, with others briefing journalists that they think her time in office is up," per the BBC. It looks especially bad for Truss after Monday, when new Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt all but abandoned her plan for $50 billion in unfunded tax cuts. Some $36 billion worth of those cuts are now scrapped, with Hunt noting windfall taxes on energy companies aren't out of the question, despite Truss' abhorrence of this idea during the Conservative leadership campaign. Basically, Truss' economic agenda is "in tatters," per the BBC.

As many as 100 Tory MPs have called for a vote of no confidence in the party leader, per inews.co.uk. And though current rules prevent such a vote for a year, some are discussing a possible rule change. Truss, however, says she's staying put. She tells the BBC she's "sorry for the mistakes that have been made"—including moving "too far, too fast"—but has instituted fixes so that a "low-tax, high-growth economy" can still be achieved in time. But even if she does remain prime minister, "she is without power," English journalist Tanya Gold writes at the New York Times, noting polls show the Labour Party 33 points up on the Conservatives and Truss' approval rating at an incredible minus 47. "For all intents and purposes, her prime ministership is finished."

Gold argues that in singling out Truss as his preferred successor, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was choosing "a human land mine to level the ground for his possible return." While a majority of Britons have accepted Conservative rule for the last 12 years, "Truss, bringer of market chaos and international condemnation, is where that consent ends," Gold writes. "Johnson, one senses, knew as much and wanted to prove that only he could hold together the electoral coalition won in 2019." She adds that "in time, Britain may free itself of Mr. Johnson's] spell and Ms. [Truss'] unreason—and choose leaders who deal in facts, not fantasies, and think of the country, not themselves." However, "that horizon is still a way off." (Read more Liz Truss stories.)

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