It’s Truss, but without as much support as she might have expected…

So, the former Liberal Democrat beats the former Chancellor to be the new Leader of the Conservative Party and, thus, Prime Minister. But it was rather closer than had been previously suggested, with only 57% of those Conservative Party members who voted backing her. And, given the polling data which suggests that members would rather have kept her predecessor than either of the choices put before them, she might have hoped for a better mandate.

Ed Davey had an immediate demand for Liz Truss;

Under Liz Truss, we’re set to see more of the same as under Boris Johnson. From the cost of living emergency to the NHS crisis, the Conservatives have shown they don’t care, have no plan and have failed our country.

The Government needs to scrap October’s energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe for families and pensioners this winter.

Then we need a General Election, to get the Conservatives out of power and deliver the real change the country needs.

Jane Dodds and the Welsh Liberal Democrats were quick to respond too;

Under Liz Truss we are set to see more of the chaos that we saw under Boris Johnson. From failing to deal with the cost-of-living emergency, to letting small and medium businesses face the winter alone, to failing to deal with the climate crisis, the Conservatives have shown they don’t care, have no plan and have failed our country.

The Conservatives may have changed leader, but after twelve years in power at Westminster the Conservatives have shown they are out of ideas, out of energy and out of touch.

First the government needs to urgently scrap October’s energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe for families and pensioners this winter. Then we need a general election, to get the Conservatives out of power and deliver the real change Wales needs.

It is clear that with the election of Liz Truss to the leadership of the Conservative Party, we now have the least farming friendly Prime Minister in decades.

Truss sold out our Welsh farmers for the Australian and New Zealand trade deals without a fight and for nothing in return, placing our rural communities at great risk. With the UK Government also pursuing trade deals with countries such as the US, Brazil and Argentina this could only get worse under Truss as Prime Minister.

Throughout the leadership campaign, there was a distinct lack of attention paid to rural areas by Liz Truss, despite the fact most Conservative MPs in the UK and here in Wales represent rural areas.

We have seen this throughout the Conservative Party as a whole throughout the last decade, they take rural areas for granted, they don’t think they need to work hard to earn votes anymore because they expect to coast through easily at election time.

Yet with a record of failure not just on trade deals, but also on rural infrastructure such as broadband connectivity, there is a rural revolt in the air.

With the Conservative Party and Liz Truss having such poor records on standing up for farming and rural communities its clear rural Wales needs a friend and the Liberal Democrats are ready to be that friend.

Overturning massive majorities in rural, traditionally Conservative constituencies such as North Shropshire and Tiverton and Honiton, as well as taking control of rural counties such as Powys in Wales show that rural voters are trusting us to demand better for their communities.

We’ll have more analysis and comment later, but in the meantime, what do our readers think?

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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21 Comments

  • …………So, the former Liberal Democrat…………

    Oh, please god, let’s not claim any ‘ownership’ of this person!

  • Mark Smulian 5th Sep '22 - 3:00pm

    Did anyone else notice that she specifically referred to leading the Tories to victory “in 2024” not, as she might have been expected to say, “at the next general election”.

  • Peter Martin 5th Sep '22 - 3:18pm

    “The Government needs to scrap October’s energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe for families and pensioners this winter.”

    In the USSR food prices were held artificially low but there wasn’t enough available to buy in the shops. Whenever there was any, a long queue would develop. So, rather than be rationed by price the rationing was by the length of time anyone was prepared to wait.

    Lib Dems normally understand the workings of the market. They did then so why not now? The government needs to somehow get hold of more gas supplies. If they can’t, and the price mechanism isn’t considered a socially acceptable way of rationing, a better way needs to be devised. There won’t be queues, but if demand is too high for the available supply there will be electricity blackouts and there will be restrictions in the gas supply.

    “Then we need a General Election, to get the Conservatives out of power and deliver the real change the country needs.”

    Be careful of what you wish for. The danger is that Liz Truss and her new Chancellor will present a give away autumn budget and achieve just enough temporary popularity to win an early election. The Labour Party will be in a state of civil war if Jeremy Corbyn stands against an official Labour candidate in Islington North so we can’t expect too much from them.

  • Mark — yes, I spotted the same thing. Not that she can’t change her mind, but this could be quoted back at her

  • So,Boris Johnson is, “admired from Kyiv to Carlisle.”

    Read what you will into all the implications of that North of the Border.

  • Adrian Sanders 5th Sep '22 - 4:00pm

    The Tories have elected a leader under the spell of the Libertarian ideologues led by the IEA and Prof Mitford. We are about to be the subjects of an experiment in supply side, deregulated, high interest rate, stand on your own two feet economics. The Hayekian lunatics have taken over the asylum. You have been warned.

  • Mick Taylor 5th Sep '22 - 4:06pm

    From the comfort of my Greek home, all I can say is sorry UK, this is about the worst choice that could have been made. God help my fellow Brits under this PM.

  • George Thomas 5th Sep '22 - 5:56pm

    A cynic would say that underpinning her view changes is a desire to survive and climb ladder to become Prime Minister. The disappointing thing for us on this site – and for those not in Tory party – is that her first move was to drop the Lib Dems which ultimately was right for her career.

    We live in a society where to have decent chance of being long term MP and Prime Minister you need to be a Tory because of how the political system is set-up to protect even (seemingly) bad Tories and dying Tory Governments. Tony Blair didn’t change things but either Kier Starmer does – with nudge from Ed Davey – or best option for everyone in the UK to join Tories and try to implement ideas from within.

  • George Thomas 5th Sep '22 - 6:00pm

    So,Boris Johnson is, “admired from Kyiv to Carlisle.”

    Umm, Liz actually says Kiev which will please Putin and displease Ukranian’s Boris has done so much to support (in order to add shine to his legacy).

  • Jason Connor 5th Sep '22 - 6:49pm

    Liz Truss has the right to change her mind even if that means jumping party, plenty of politicians do. Labour are not interested in PR and have said as such. The country will remain in a two party system and I can’t see that changing with either of these two parties in government.

  • John David Raw 5th Sep '22 - 7:23pm

    @ George Thomas, I’m not disappointed she left the Lib Dems…….. and, having ridden in a tank with a white scarf (a la Mrs T), has the brass neck to attack the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland (a post created through Lib-Lab co-operation) as ‘an attention seeker’………… and we thought Johnson was chaotic.

    Any chance of long term B & B, Mick ?

  • I watched the coverage of Truss’s speech on both BBC and Ch4 news; oh, what a difference.
    The BBC produced a ‘sanitized’ version with no pregnant pauses and late applause; in short, quite a coherent performance..Ch4 gave us the unedited version (reminiscent of her robotic ‘Cheese’ effort) warts and all.. On the BBC I was longing for Joe Lycett to provide the commentary…

    What has happened to that impartial and investigative service; are Laura Kuenssberg type ‘love-ins’ the future of BBC in depth interviews?

  • I don’t think LT deliberately sold British farmers down the river, I just don’t think she was bright enough to know what she was doing. @Expats right about the BBC sanitising her woeful performances. The British public need to know exactly the calibre of person who is now in charge. Like Johnson, LT was (is ?) a remainer. She changed horses for purely personal career gain. They are both beneath contempt.

  • Chris Platts 6th Sep '22 - 9:05am

    If minority parties are going to be relegated to permanent opposition we need to be more assertive about our beliefs and ideas. The Liz Truss’ of the world are just career politicians who lack any real empathy or profound beliefs beyond their own needs. We need to promote politicians that are selfless and prepared to put personal fulfilment to one side.

  • I normally agree with my friend Expats, but sorry, I can’t go all the way with him on the BBC this time.

    The BBC carried a full version of the Truss speech live when covering her ‘coronation’ at mid-day …….. and last Thursday ‘Have I got News for You’ gave both Johnson and Truss a real right working over. It’s on iplayer.

    Lib Dems shouldn’t dance to the Tory Party tune of undermining the BBC…… and if Dorries got her way Channel Four News would be similarly undermined.

  • Gwyn Williams 6th Sep '22 - 10:44am

    @JaneDodds “It is clear that with the election of Liz Truss to the leadership of the Conservative Party, we now have the least farming friendly Prime Minister in decades.”
    It is only 15 years since Tony Blair resigned. His administration ramped up diesel prices through the Fuel Duty Escalator which triggered the fuel protests and brought the country to a standstill; then the following year they mishandled Foot and Mouth Crisis and to cap it all he abolished the Ministry of Agriculture. Ms Truss has some way to go before she exceeds Blair’s record.

  • Tory Party membership is 172,000, so I work it out that 27,681 members (almost 17%) chose not to vote for either of them. And she won by less than 25,000 votes. Hardly a ringing endorsement by her own party. Which 68million people are now saddled with.

  • Rita Baker: I worse one after my vasectomy! Jolly helpful it was too. I fear our new PM will be far from any use.

  • David Raw 6th Sep ’22 – 9:49am…….I normally agree with my friend Expats, but sorry, I can’t go all the way with him on the BBC this time…..The BBC carried a full version of the Truss speech live when covering her ‘coronation’ at mid-day …….. and last Thursday ‘Have I got News for You’ gave both Johnson and Truss a real right working over. It’s on iplayer…..

    Hi, David, I agree that the BBC live coverage was just that. I am referring to their ‘flagship 6pm news; the programme where most people ( unlike those of us oldies who are able to watch ‘daytime telly’) get their news..The contrast between that and Ch4 was eye opening..
    Regarding the HIGNFY ‘Tribute to Boris’, I watched it and noticed the sly aside by Hislop regarding ‘balance’ on the show..
    I, certainly don’t want to undermine the BBC but I note both Emily Maitlis’s criticism and the ‘odd’ fact that the reasons given for the 2021 use of ‘external impartiality investigators’ echo those called for by that staunch defender of BBC neutrality; one Nadine Dorries..
    If the BBC continues to be influenced by government appointees (Johnson even tried to put Charles Moore as Chairman) then it ceases to do, in my mind, what it was set up to do.

  • @Expats. No problem. Understand where you’re coming from.

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