Liz Truss is 'worse than useless', says former Tory minister Edwina Currie

18 October 2022, 20:26

Edwina Currie has said Liz Truss is 'absolutely useless'
Edwina Currie has said Liz Truss is 'absolutely useless'. Picture: LBC

By Kit Heren

Liz Truss has proved "worse than useless" as Prime Minister, former Conservative minister Edwina Currie has said.

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Speaking to LBC's Iain Dale on Tuesday evening, Ms Currie said that Ms Truss' tenure as Prime Minister had left her in "total misery".

Ms Currie, who was in parliament under Margaret Thatcher and John Major from 1983-1997, added: "Never mind despair or anything like that. We’re in a mess.

"Liz Truss has turned out to be absolutely useless - in fact in many ways worse than useless."

Edwina Currie says Liz Truss is worst than useless.

Ms Currie's comments come as a new poll shows that more than half of Tory members want Liz Truss replaced as Prime Minister, despite voting her in just six weeks ago.

Ms Truss is trying to battle on after a disastrous start to life at Downing Street, having been elected only on September 5.

Read more: 'Very difficult and very humiliating': former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont slams Liz Truss 'mess'

She had to reverse economic policies of hefty tax breaks after markets were spooked by whether the Government could afford them.

She then sacked key ally Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor on Friday, replacing him with Jeremy Hunt, a supporter of her former leadership rival Rishi Sunak - leading to suggestions that she was effectively not in control of the government any more.

'We don't make any distinctions between male and female.'

Ms Currie said that Ms Truss "obviously can't stay as Prime Minister" - although she might "buy herself a little bit of time" with a strong performance at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

The former MP for South Derbyshire said that Conservative MPs should consider changing internal party rules that currently bar them from launching a formal leadership challenge for a year.

Read more: UK is 'a warning' to other developed countries 'not to defy logic', says top economist - and warns of 'long-term damage'

"There ought to be some revision of the rules of the party, which make a distinction between when we’re in government, and when we’re not in government," Ms Currie said.

"When we’re not in government, we can have a lot of fun with politics.

"When we’re not in government, actually it’s the welfare of the people that matters far, far more than any internal politicking, and which name happens to be in charge."

Edwina Currie in 1986 at the Conservative Party Conference
Edwina Currie in 1986 at the Conservative Party Conference. Picture: Getty

And she hinted that she thought the "very impressive" Mr Hunt could replace Ms Truss - while still keeping his current role as chancellor.

Ms Currie said: "My preference personally would be to see a combination of roles. We’ve done this before at times of crisis. Churchill was his own Prime Minister and war minister for example.

Read more: Majority of Tory members want Truss to go just weeks after electing her as leader - and Boris to succeed her

"We’ve had in the past the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister in the same job - and that might solve a lot of problems, at least in the medium term.

"What I don’t think we want is to start having contests and to start beauty contests all over again - that would be ghastly.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Getty

"It was ghastly when it happened during the summer, and it would be almost impossible to hold the party together if we tried to do it again."

Asked by Iain if she was concerned that if Ms Truss left office, all three female Prime Ministers would have been forced out, Ms Currie said: "I don't think it matters any more".

"We don’t make any distinction… between male and female," she added.

"It doesn’t follow that because somebody comes from this background or that backvround that they’re going to be a success in any particular role."

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