Liz Truss, the former British prime minister who led the shortest government in UK history, spoke publicly for the first time about the events leading up to her resignation last October in a long intervention on Telegraph, a conservative newspaper. Truss, who in fact was the protagonist of one of the most blatant political failures in the history of her country, has partly admitted her responsibility for the financial crisis caused by her plan to cut taxes for the rich, but she has also attributed to the economic system and the lack of support from the Conservative Party, of which it belongs.
I’m not arguing that I was blameless for what happened, but fundamentally I was not given a real chance to carry out my policies by a very powerful economic system, aided by a lack of political support.
Truss had become prime minister on 6 September. She had replaced the outgoing Boris Johnson, who had stepped down under strong pressure from the opposition and members of her own party, following months of scandal over parties organized in violation of restrictions in place during the lockdown.
Determined to cut taxes for the rich, with the ambition to continue the neoliberal fiscal and economic reforms approved in the 1980s by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Truss had prepared a debt-financed tax reduction plan which on 23 September it had been announced by Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the Truss government, the equivalent of our economy minister.
The plan surprised the Conservative Party itself, was judged by the markets to be risky and unsustainable and caused the pound to collapse and the yields offered on government bonds to rise to record levels. At that point, the Bank of England had to intervene with a contingency plan to calm investors in the financial markets. Kwarteng was replaced and in the intervention of him on Telegraph Truss said she was very shaken by having to do it:
I still believe that trying to carry out the original policy on which I based my campaign for party leadership was the right thing to do, but the opposing forces were too strong.
Regarding his party’s reaction to the announcement of the tax reduction plan, he said:
I had underestimated the resistance there would be among Conservative MPs to a move towards a lower taxed and less regulated economy.
Within a few weeks, the political pressure on Truss had become unbearable, and he had had to resign himself, just 45 days into office. Now it is expected that starting from the intervention on the Telegraph want to try to relaunch his political career.