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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


TRUSS TO ‘RIDE OUT THE STORM’?

by New Worker correspondent

LIZ TRUSS was sworn in as Prime Minister this week following her victory over former Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the race for the Tory leadership. Labour MPs always regarded Truss as the weaker candidate and her victory was welcome news in the Starmer camp.

But as Boris Johnson quits the public stage amidst rumours that he still dreams of a political comeback once the scandals associated with his name are forgotten, Truss steps into Downing Street pledging to “ride out the storm” of the cost-of-living crisis by “delivering” on the economy, energy and the NHS.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said Johnson’s legacy was “scandal, sleaze, the highest inflation for decades, cost-of-living crisis, people’s standard of living going down, we’ve seen the highest tax burden on the UK, and we’ve seen GP waiting lists going up, we’ve seen the NHS engulfed in a crisis, we’ve seen our public services really demoralised… I thought it was astonishing that he thought it was a good laugh and said: ‘bye, I’ve been a rocket and it’s been great’, when actually, it’s been a damp squib and everyone’s poorer as a result of it”.

Johnson bows out with a panache only the truly vain possess. Truss, on the other hand, even made Starmer look good as she sparred with him at PM’s Question Time in Parliament this week.

‘Rishi revival’?

Truss beat Sunak in the run-off Tory leadership election by 81,326 votes to 60,399. Although streets ahead in Tory opinion polls and always the clear favourite with the bookies, Truss’s victory was not overwhelming. It was the closest result since the member’s vote was introduced in the Conservative Party and it has revived hopes in the Sunak camp of a ‘Rishi revival’ if and when the Truss government falters.

That’s bad news for Truss. She knows that a divided Tory camp can only benefit the opposition parties. Labour has a 10-point lead in the opinion polls, but the real threat is from the Liberal-Democrats, whom dissident Tories usually turn to in times of crisis. It will take a long time before the public forget Johnson’s escapades and voters are not going to give Truss the benefit of the doubt in the ‘honeymoon’ period of the new administration. That’s why the new Prime Minister has rejected Labour calls for a snap poll to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate and made it clear that the next general election won’t be until 2024.