Liz Truss outlines Conservative leadership pledges
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Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib also told her if she ultimately replaced Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, she would need to take control of an administration he believes is “stuck in campaigning mode” and increasingly reliant on flimsy excuses. Mr Habib, a fierce critic of Mr Johnson in recent months, is backing the Foreign Secretary in her battle against Tory leadership election rival Rishi Sunak.
But he told the 46-year-old Tory MP for South-West Norfolk the job she is seeking to inherit would be far from easy.
He told Express.co.uk: “There seems to be a belief in government that simply making a declaration to do something is the same as actually doing it.
“They are stuck in campaigning mode, relying on sound bites to curry favour with the public and then finding excuses why they failed.”
More often than not, such excuses involve blaming the EU, blaming the civil service, blaming the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), blaming Covid and in fact “blaming all and sundry”, Mr Habib declared.
He added: “The only entity genuinely to blame is the government.
“If Liz Truss does not get on with the job immediately on being appointed Prime Minister, the British people will evidence this by handing over the keys of No. 10 to Keir Starmer in 2024.
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With specific reference to the UK’s decision to quit the bloc, he added: “Our government must learn the value of acting UNILATERALLY in the interests of the United Kingdom.
“It was not elected to spend endless hours in negotiations with foreign powers that are mostly hostile to our aims.
“It already has the requisite authorities and power domestically to charter a path for the UK. It needs to get on with it.”
Ms Truss indicated her willingness to get on with the job shortly after she sealed her place in the final two Tory candidates last month – although her initial, rapidly deleted tweet proclaimed herself “ready to hit the ground”, omitting the word running.
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In a speech during which she launched her campaign, she said: “I am ready to be Prime Minister from day one.”
Ally and former Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis likewise suggested last week she would be ready from the off, without deploying the specific phrase she had previously mangled.
He told GB News: “She wants to do this the right way, she wants to move quickly if she becomes Prime Minister, she wants to have an emergency budget and obviously an emergency budget would deal with these very issues.
“What she’s setting out at the moment is that overarching set of principles that will guide her as Prime Minister and whoever our chancellor is, which is have a low tax economy, so more money for people who are paying tax to be able to spend in the way they see fit to deal with these challenges, but also to have one that’s all based on a high wage and high productivity economy so we’re seeing more jobs created for people, but in the even in the short term can make quite a big difference to the security that people have in their homes.”
He added: “Liz has led the way in trying to talk about how we make sure we’re getting more money in people’s pockets. It’s a very fair challenge.
“The reality is these things are not mutually exclusive.
“What we want to do and what Liz Truss wants to do is get on top of and deal with the challenges that we’re seeing with inflation, get inflation under control, but also be putting more money in people’s pockets.”
Ms Truss is 22 percentage points ahead of her Mr Sunak in the contest to become the country’s next PM, a poll of Conservative Party members by Opinium Research showed on Saturday.
Among a sample of 450 party members who had decided how they would vote in the ongoing leadership election put Truss, who other polls have also shown to be the clear frontrunner, on 61 percent, with former finance minister Sunak on 39 percent, Opinium said.
The roughly 200,000 members of the ruling Conservatives are voting to decide on a replacement for Mr Johnson, who resigned in July.
The overall sample size, including those who did not express a voting preference, was 570. Less than a third of them, 29 percent, said they had already voted and a further 47 percent said they had made up their mind. Just 19 percent said they might still change their mind.
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