Kwasi Kwarteng reveals he warned Liz Truss to 'slow down'
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Liz Truss may be out of Number 10, but she’s not out of politics, according to insiders. However, the former Prime Minister was warned not to get embroiled in controversy following her tenure as premier. Ms Truss would likely be wooing world leaders at COP15 – COP27’s less glamorous cousin focused on preserving the world’s biodiversity – if she was still in Downing Street.
Instead, she was recently spotted in a coffee shop in Washington DC, where she attended the IDU forum for conservatives from around the world.
Although she gave no speeches and made no formal engagements, she reportedly networked with other like-minded politicians, some of whom were ousted themselves.
She reportedly told friends: “I lost a battle, I haven’t lost the war.”
There have been rumours of a think-tank, either run or endorsed by Ms Truss, set up to promote free trade and Trussenomics.
“[Truss is] getting her affairs in order,” an ally told The Times. “Don’t forget she was continually in office for ten years, eight of them in cabinet. She’s taking some time to think about what she wants to do next. She is considering different ideas and hasn’t settled on what she is going to be doing.”
The MP has been spotted several times in Portcullis House in Westminster, taking meetings with those who supported her spectacular rise to power – followed by an equally spectacular fall.
A friend of the former Prime Minister said: “She’s been doing a lot of coffees and lunches with MPs who supported her. They are mostly depressed because they lost middle-ranking ministerial jobs..
“She’s in better form than they are. She’s not someone who sits around sulking.”
The former Prime Minister quit the nation’s top job after just 44 days, serving a total of 49, before resigning.
Although the former PM has not given an interview since her resignation, her right hand man in government and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng told the Financial Times last week: “There was a brief moment and the people in charge, myself included, blew it.”
However, Simon Clarke, her chief secretary to the Treasury, wrote in The Critic magazine: “In her diagnosis of the situation at home and abroad and what should be done about it, Liz Truss was fundamentally and importantly right.
He added: “The opportunity for further tax cuts may have passed with the mini-budget, but supply-side reform is now more important, not less.”
Truss, who is only 47, is the youngest Prime Minister since the 19th century. Facing a four decade long retirement she will need to stay busy and relevant to influence the political agenda.
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However, a former David Cameron aide speaking to The Times gave Truss a stark warning – Cameron, who resigned at 49, got caught up in the Greensill lobbying scandal, costing him political capital.
The aide said: “The lesson for Liz is that it’s good to shut the f*** up for a while. Dave largely did this and then got himself into another mess.”
First up on Ms Truss’s potential post-premier controversies could be her resignation honours list. Insiders say the list will not be too wide-ranging and peerages will likely be limited to those who have worked with her and known her for a long time.
In the UK, for now, Truss appears to be focusing on her constituency work, she plans to fight in the next general election for her South West Norfolk seat.
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