BBC Newsnight host Victoria Derbyshire ripped into Liz Truss over her return to the spotlight with a fresh batch of “popular” policies last night.
The former PM was one of the Tory backbenchers to speak at the launch of the new right-wing platform, Popular Conservatives (PopCon) on Tuesday, where she claimed there were many “secret Conservatives” across the UK.
Truss has become the main face of the movement, which says it aims to bring “accountability” back to Britain with “popular” policies.
But Derbyshire questioned the ex-PM’s efforts when interviewing Truss’ former adviser Hugh Bennett on BBC Newsnight after the PopCon conference.
The presenter said: “Why should any voter listen to Liz Truss when she frightened the markets to such an extent that the pound fell against the dollar, sent mortgage rates soared again and forced the Bank of England to intervene to save our pensions?”
As Bennett tried to focus on Truss’s appearance at PopCon, Derbyshire cut in: “It’s actually about whether people would listen to Liz Truss, because of the disastrous 49-day premiership.”
He repeated that people should judge her on her words at PopCon, but Derbyshire said: “Not on her actual term in office? I thought you wanted to bring the link back between accountability and democracy?”
“I’m sure she’d be the first to admit that her term in office did not go the way she intended,” Bennett said.
But the presenter would not be deterred. She said: “I’m sorry to come back to the point I made previously, but it seems to link with what you just said – Liz Truss as prime minister announced billions of pounds of tax cuts – and look where that left everybody.”
Bennett maintained that Truss was just trying to start a longer-term conversation about the institutional reforms needed in this country.
The former PM still maintains that the disaster of her mini-budget came down to “a lot of institutional bureaucracy”.
She has also refused to express regret over the policy which saw her pushed out of office.
Speaking last September, Truss said her tax cuts were about “showing a new direction for Britain”.