British Prime Minister Liz Truss faces an uphill battle amid social and economic headwinds

Despite disastrous opinion polls, Truss held firm in a speech at his party’s annual conference. (Case)


Her speech this week may have appeased restless Tory loyalists, but new British Prime Minister Liz Truss’s position is still fragile just a month after taking office as she battles headwinds social and economic.

Although she was able to provide partial reassurance, Truss – who sees herself as the heir to Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – remains weakened as her government faces an economic crisis.

Since taking over from Boris Johnson, Truss has alienated voters, financial markets and many of her own MPs with a catastrophic program of debt-fueled tax cuts to boost the stagnant economy of the Great Britain. -Brittany.

But despite disastrous opinion polls, Truss held firm Wednesday in a speech to his party’s annual conference, pledging to stick to his policy of promoting growth through tax cuts and deregulation.

Leaving late Thursday morning for a European summit in Prague, the Prime Minister left behind a party far from being convinced by the approach she adopted.

– Fear of “annihilating” the elections –

Steven Fielding, professor of political science at the University of Nottingham, told AFP that Truss’s politics were formed by speaking to “a very small number of far-right neoliberal think tanks”, but that these opinions were not widespread, even within the conservative party.

“If you look at what she actually said, none of this was new. It was all very familiar,” he added.

Truss’ package of measures to support households and businesses hit by record inflation, particularly energy prices, has raised concerns about how it will be paid for.

And within the Conservative Party, there is also concern after opinion polls showed an unprecedented lead for the main opposition party, Labor, with the next general election due before January 2025 at the most. late.

MP and ex-minister Nadine Dorries, a close ally of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, warned on Thursday the Tories risked defeat if Truss continued to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ by reversing decisions and commitments of the previous government.

“You don’t win the election by swerving to the right and deserting center ground for (Labour leader) Keir Starmer to put his flag on it,” she said.

“If we continue down this path, we will absolutely face Stephen Harper-type annihilation,” she added, referring to the 2015 Canadian election in which Harper was crushed to a crushing defeat by Justin Trudeau.

Some Tory MPs are reportedly already looking for an alternative, possibly in the form of former finance minister Rishi Sunak, whom Truss beat in the final leg of the Tory leadership race this summer, although that he had the support of a majority of deputies in parliament.

Former cabinet minister Grant Shapps indicated this week that party rules could be changed to allow a no-confidence vote by Tory MPs sooner than 12 months into his term.

– “Growth, growth, growth” –

Even if she remains unchallenged, the prospects for her fledgling leadership look bleak without some sort of economic miracle.

“The Truss government may have been irreparably tarnished by appearing out of touch,” The Times newspaper said in an editorial.

“The problem for Ms Truss in declaring ‘growth, growth, growth’ the theme of her term as prime minister is that it is a goal, not a policy,” he added.

In her speech, the Prime Minister argued that the status quo was not an option, mentioning the word “growth” 27 times.

Fielding said he expected Truss to stick to his guns, but with a few trade-offs, such as the U-turn on the proposed removal of the 45% income tax rate for earners. more than £150,000 a year announced in the poorly received mini from Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng. -budget on September 23.

“She’s not going to quit. I expect her to try to continue in the direction she’s already heading in. She’ll probably be forced to compromise and she’ll try to sell it,” he said. .

But he added there were enough Tory MPs who did not vote for her to ‘deny her a majority’.

“So she’s not really in control of her own government. It’s a weird situation…a complete mess,” he said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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