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Former prime minister Liz Truss’s claims she was never given a “realistic chance” to put her economic plan into action have been backed by a leading Tory. In her first detailed comments since she was dramatically forced out of office, Ms Truss blamed a powerful, Left-leaning “economic establishment” for her failure to realise her vision.
While she acknowledged she was not “blameless” for the way her infamous mini-Budget catastrophically unravelled in September, she said she still believes her approach to driving growth is the right one.
Her intervention is likely to be seen as a rallying cry for Tory MPs who have been pressing PM Rishi Sunak and his Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, to bring down taxes to kickstart growth.
Former Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry, who was put in charge of the party machine by Ms Truss, said she had offered the right “diagnosis of the disease that is facing the country”. But it “wasn’t delivered in the correct way”.
He told BBC TV’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “Her point of we need to lower taxes, we need to create a growing economy, that’s what people want.”
With Ms Truss promising further interventions and around 50 MPs backing the Conservative Growth Group, which supports her economic vision, there will be concern in No10 at possible backbench unrest.
But Business Secretary Grant Shapps insisted Mr Sunak and Mr Hunt were right to resist demands for tax cuts in next month’s Budget, saying inflation has to be brought under control. “I completely agree with Liz’s instinct to have a lower tax economy,” he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
“We also know that if you do that before you’ve dealt with inflation and dealt with the debt, then you end up in difficulty.”
In a 4,000-word article for The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Truss said she had not appreciated the strength of the resistance she would face to her plans.
And she complained her government had been made a “scapegoat” for long-standing economic issues.
She wrote: “I am not claiming to be blameless in what happened, but fundamentally I was not given a realistic chance to enact my policies by a very powerful economic establishment, coupled with a lack of political support.
“I assumed upon entering Downing Street that my mandate would be respected and accepted. How wrong I was.
“While I anticipated resistance to my programme from the system, I underestimated the extent of it.
“Similarly, I underestimated the resistance inside the Conservative parliamentary party to move to a lower-tax, less-regulated economy.”
Ms Truss’s premiership lasted just 49 days as she was forced to quit after her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s £45billion package of unfunded tax cuts panicked the markets.
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