Widdecombe warns Truss has to overcome issues with Parliamentary party
Ann Widdecombe, speaking to GB News, slammed the Conservative Party for “tending to panic as soon as things go wrong”, citing the downfall of Boris Johnson and others in evidence. All three of the last Tory PMs have resigned, with the last two being forced out following votes of no confidence – Mr Johnson and Ms May won those ballots, only to resign afterwards. Ms Widdecombe said the key to Liz Truss having a successful time in Downing Street was to “somehow overcome” the panicky nature of the party and try to restore confidence.
Ms Widdecombe said: “I think one of her biggest problems, which has not been touched on, is quite honestly the very poor quality of the parliamentary party that is sitting behind her, which tends to panic as soon as things go wrong.
“So, as soon as the opinion polls turn in any adverse direction, the parliamentary party panics. We saw that with Boris and we have seen that before.
“Ms Truss is going to have to overcome that somehow. If she does a quarter of the things she is pledging to do, then I think she is in an extremely good position to win the next general election.
“I don’t agree that it should be next year. I think it should be in two years so she has got time to do the things she has been promising to do.
Ann Widdecombe said the “biggest problem” facing Liz Truss was the “panic” of the party
Boris Johnson became the second PM in a row to be forced to resign
“But if she can reverse the national insurance rise, gradually overcome the energy crisis, which by the way is not just a national emergency, just about every Western country has got the same problem, and if she can do those things then, of course, she can win the next election.
“I think we also need to take into account that Starmer is not an impressive performer and I can remember, because my memory lasts that long, that people had doubts about Margaret Thatcher.
“She was a bit dull and they did not really see her winning people over, and they did not really see her beating Jim Callaghan, all that sort of stuff.
And, of course, the reverse was completely true. So, give her a chance.”
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Margret Thatcher was dismissed early on but proved her worth, said Widdecombe
Liz Truss is expected to be named leader of the governing Conservative Party and Britain’s next prime minister on Monday, poised to take power at a time when the country faces a cost of living crisis, industrial unrest, and a recession.
After weeks of an often bad-tempered and divisive party leadership contest that pitted Ms Truss against Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, Monday’s announcement at 1130 GMT will trigger the beginning of a handover from Boris Johnson.
He was forced to announce his resignation in July after months of scandal. On Tuesday, the winner will travel to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth, who will ask the new leader to form a government.
Long the front runner in the race to replace Johnson, Ms Truss, if appointed, will become the Conservatives’ fourth prime minister since a 2015 election. Over that period the country has been buffeted from crisis to crisis, and now faces what is forecast to be a long recession triggered by skyrocketing inflation that hit 10.1 percent in July.
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Veteran Conservative lawmaker David Davis warned Truss of difficult items ahead
Foreign minister under Boris Johnson, Ms Truss, 47, has promised to act quickly to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis, saying that within a week she will come up with a plan to tackle rising energy bills and securing future fuel supplies.
Ms Truss faces a long, costly and difficult to-do list, which opposition lawmakers say is the result of 12 years of a poor Conservative government.
Several have called for an early election – something Ms Truss has said she will not allow.
Veteran Conservative lawmaker David Davis described the challenges she would take on as prime minister as “probably the second most difficult brief of post-war prime ministers” after Conservative Margaret Thatcher in 1979.
“I actually don’t think any of the candidates, not one of them going through it, really knows quite how big this is going to be,” he said, adding that costs could run into tens of billions of pounds.
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