HENRY DEEDES watches as Liz Truss introduces the lead
She delivered a truly blue message, but her joints could use a splash of oil: HENRY DEEDES watches as Liz Truss’ lead begins
The dress was crimson, but the speech was as blue as a billionaire’s swimming pool. material, Liz Truss‘s leadership start yesterday was a cork. A perfectly placed entrance at her group’s base, embellished with the kind of promises meant to rock the conference hall.
Lower taxes! More defense spending! As for Come Patel‘s Rwanda Refugee regulation, bet! Our Liz was right behind.
You could practically hear blue-blooded activists in the Shire cheering for joy.
However, your presentation remains a kind of work in progress. At some points she got jiggly lips and stumbled over words. The truss joints could use a good drizzle of oil as well. Too stiff, too rigid.
Doesn’t matter. She will improve.
Our setting for the morning was a drab office in Smith Square, Westminster, all glass doors and sterile white walls. However, unlike most of the venues we’ve crowded into this week, it was at least air-conditioned. Praise the Lord! This is one way to get the lobby hacks on your side.
Vision: Conservative leadership nominee Liz Truss outlines her plans for launching her leadership campaign Thursday
Responsible for the performance was cannon-tuning Secretary of Commerce Kwasi Kwarteng, who is believed to be keen to become Truss’ chancellor. That would be lively if nothing else. And could rattle the dishes of the Bank of England.
Miss Truss walked with a bright smile and a step as careful as if she were swaying on champagne flutes.
In front of her sat a crowd of cheering supporters – the Trussites, as we shall call them. Actually, The Trussettes probably sounds better – more like a funky Motown vibe. Among these hip groovers were former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and Treasury Secretary Simon Clarke.
Oh, and Truss’ de facto campaign manager, Therese Coffey. Loyal Therese spent most of her time staring at the stage like an adoring fan at a Madonna concert. Truss spoke directly into a TV camera at the back of the room. Your delivery could possibly have been dialed up a few notches.
From an early age, there was a lot of talk about all the high-level jobs she held. A little reminder of how inexperienced their leadership rivals were.
She lowered her lips and narrowed one eye slightly and announced, “I’m ready to be Prime Minister from day one.” Sunak? Mordaunt? Bah! Mere pipsqueaks!
We’ve heard about her childhood in Leeds and an intriguing hinterland is beginning to emerge. During her comprehensive school years, she saw children fail again and again due to poor standards and a lack of opportunities. “You will never be abandoned under my supervision,” she said.
Miss Truss, who finished Tuesday in the first round of the leadership election as the Tory right’s front runner, officially launched her leadership campaign on Wednesday morning
As for her financial plans, she announced that the business-as-usual economy had failed. In other words, Rishinomics had failed. Something bold, new and exciting was needed. Trussanomics!
Sky News’ Beth questioned why she didn’t resign from Boris Johnson’s cabinet last week when all her peers left ship.
“I’m a loyal man,” Truss said seriously. That earned her a chorus of “Yer, yers” from The Trussettes.
Several questions related to the unexpected rise of Penny Mordaunt. Iain Duncan Smith turned his head and frowned in disbelief. “Penny Morrr-daunt?” he spat. He said it with the slight disgust of someone who had just been urged by a Moroccan waiter to try the sheep’s head.
Someone spoke to former Brexit Secretary Lord Frost, who had given an interview this morning in which he had described Mordaunt as pretty much useless. Truss insisted that we would not hear snide remarks about colleagues from her.
That’s probably what the Trussettes were for. One had reportedly told a newspaper that Miss Mordaunt would need “stabilizers” if she were to become Prime Minister. Harsh!
There was a bit of a mess at the end as Truss began to slowly walk into the audience. For a moment I thought she was coming to give one of us journalists a purse. Turns out she forgot where the exit was.
Oops. Her team will be hoping this was the last wrong turn she takes in this competition. It’s the first of tonight’s televised debates, and God knows she’ll have to put on a decent performance.