Liz Truss admits she kept 'bugging' Boris Johnson in hospital when he was recovering from Covid

15 April 2024, 13:24 | Updated: 15 April 2024, 15:07

Liz Truss said she 'bugged' Boris Johnson while he was in hospital

By Kit Heren

Liz Truss has admitted that she repeatedly pestered Boris Johnson in hospital while he was recovering from Covid-19.

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Ms Truss said that being persistent with her predecessor as Prime Minister "was often the only way of getting things done".

She told LBC's Iain Dale that she "just bugged" Mr Johnson "continually" during his time in Downing Street, when she held multiple Cabinet posts.

Ms Truss recalled one occasion during the Covid-19 pandemic, when Mr Johnson himself was hospitalised with a serious case of the virus.

At the time, she was Secretary of State for International Trade, and working on the beginning of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US that needed input from the Prime Minister.

Watch the full Liz Truss interview on Global Player, the official LBC app, from 7pm on Monday

Liz Truss says Andrew Bailey should resign

Ms Truss said: "Thank God Boris was okay after Covid but I remember getting him to sign off the start of the American trade deal while he was still in hospital recovering after Covid, because his advisers weren't there."

She added: "It's quite bad, isn't it?"

But Ms Truss said that her persistence showed that she "was determined to get things done."

Ms Truss also gave the example of the Australian trade deal, which she said met with some resistance from Conservative ministers who were concerned about Australian animal welfare standards.

Read more: Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey should resign over response to mini-budget, Liz Truss tells LBC

Read more: ‘They got me’: Liz Truss lashes out at ‘economic establishment’ as she speaks at right wing conference in the US

Liz Truss
Liz Truss. Picture: Alamy

She said: "My view is the Australian animal welfare standards are obviously fine. They're not the same as Britain. But if we're going to insist on regulatory harmony with the rest of the world, we're basically creating a big form of the EU.

"But how did I get Boris to agree to this? Well, the answer is I got things ready, made sure there was a great deal on the table, say that it was irresistible.

"And then I bugged him until he agreed to it."

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson. Picture: Getty

Ms Truss also told Iain that she believed Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey should resign over his reaction to her government's catastrophic 2022 mini-budget.

Asked if she believed she was ‘stitched up’, Ms Truss said the reaction to her mini-budget represented “groupthink rather than a conspiracy”.

“They believe in the current economic model Britain has, they believe in the economic consensus. They essentially believe, in my view, in managing decline,” Ms Truss told LBC.

Asked if she thought Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, should retain his position, Ms Truss said: “No, I don’t.”

Ms Truss also called for a “proper investigation into what happened in September 2022 and the actions the Bank took”.

She resigned as Prime Minister after just six weeks in the job after her government's mini-budget crashed the pound and sent household costs soaring.