Labour urges Rishi Sunak to strip former PM Liz Truss of Conservative whip after claim of 'deep state sabotage'

24 February 2024, 08:50 | Updated: 24 February 2024, 10:13

Rishi Sunak has been urged to strip Liz Truss of the Conservative whip
Rishi Sunak has been urged to strip Liz Truss of the Conservative whip. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Labour has urged Rishi Sunak to strip Liz Truss, his predecessor as Prime Minister, of the Conservative whip after she said she was "sabotaged" by "the deep state".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

John Healey, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, said that Mr Sunak "has got to set some standards for his MPs."

Labour shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth earlier wrote to the Prime Minister to say that the "egregious" remarks made by Ms Truss, "cannot go unchecked or unchallenged".

Mr Healey told LBC's Matthew Wright that what Ms Truss said "can't go unchecked and unchallenged and so that's why Labour's written to Sunak" to suggest taking the whip away.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said he would not have used the same language as his fellow Conservative MP but did not say she should lose the whip.

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

Read more: David Cameron accuses Putin and his regime of ‘behaving like Nazis’ as war in Ukraine hits two years

Watch Again: Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey joins Matthew Wright | 24/02/24

Ms Truss had used a talk at the Conservative Political Action Conference (Cpac) in the US to claim her efforts to cut taxes were "sabotaged" by the "administrative state and the deep state".

The former prime minister, whose disastrous mini-budget in 2022 unleashed economic chaos, later took part in an interview with Steve Bannon and remained silent as he hailed far-right figure Tommy Robinson a "hero."

She was criticised for not challenging the comment by senior Tory MP Sir Sajid Javid, who wrote in a post on X: "I'd hope every MP would confront such a statement head on. Liz should really know better."

Ms Truss had claimed in her speech that Conservatives are "now operating in what is a hostile environment" and that "left-wing elites" will be "aided and abetted by our enemies in China, Iran and Russia".

Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss
Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss. Picture: Alamy

Interviewed by Mr Bannon after her speech, she also said she was willing to work with Nigel Farage to change the Conservative Party.

And she suggested the former Donald Trump adviser, who is facing fraud charges in New York, could "come over to Britain and sort out Britain".

In his letter to Mr Sunak, Mr Ashworth wrote: "For a senior politician to engage in spreading such blatant conspiracy theories is incredibly damaging to our democracy, our institutions and social cohesion."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

He added: "For a former prime minister to make such remarks, while on an international visit to a country with whom the UK shares a special relationship which upholds liberal values is an unforgivable lowering of the office of prime minister which lessens the United Kingdom's standing in the world and needs to be acted upon.

Ms Truss resigned in October 2022 after the fallout from her botched financial statement, becoming the country's shortest-serving prime minister after just 49 days in office.

"I think Margaret Thatcher would be turning in her grave at what Liz Truss has been saying in America" says James O'Brien to caller Rob

Her speech at Cpac saw her sharing a stage with Mr Trump, whose presidential bid she all but directly endorsed, and Reform UK founder and former Ukip leader Mr Farage.

She said: "Conservatives are now operating in what is now a hostile environment and we essentially need a bigger bazooka."

She claimed that the “catastrophic reaction” to the budget that cost her her job had come from the “usual suspects” in both the media and the corporate world, as well as government, the Office of Budget Responsibility and the Bank of England.

She accused “the left” of undermining the Conservative-led British government because they “did not accept that they lost at the ballot box”.

“They’ve been weaponising our court system to stop us contorting illegal immigrants, they’ve been using the administrative state to make sure that conservative policies are faulted and they’ve been pushing their woke agenda through our schools, through our campuses, and even in our corporations,” she said.

Ms Truss also took aim at "Chinos" - conservatives in name only - saying: "It's people who think 'I want to be popular, I don't want to upset people, I don't want to look like a mean person, I want to attend nice dinner parties in London or Washington DC, I want my friends to like me, I don't want to cause trouble'.

"What those people are doing is they are compromising, and they are triangulating, and they are losing the argument."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prince William and Prince George at the Euro 2024 final

Smiling Prince George attends Euro 2024 final with Prince William as England face off against Spain

Kate with Charlotte at Wimbledon

Princess Kate looks radiant in purple as she presents Wimbledon trophy at men's final

Corey Comperatore was killed during the Trump rally attack.

Pictured: Man killed in shooting at Trump rally as he 'tried to shield family from bullets'

Carlos Alcaraz has retained his Wimbledon title

Carlos Alcaraz retains Wimbledon title as he beats Novak Djokovic for second year in a row

Live
England are facing Spain in the final

England 1-2 Spain: Spain take the lead again just minutes before full time

Melania Trump shared an emotional statement on the incident

Melania Trump breaks silence after attempted assassination of husband Donald at rally

The wife and two daughters of racing commentator John Hunt were killed at their Hertfordshire home

Bereaved racing commentator John Hunt has fundraiser set up after wife and two daughters killed

Princess Kate has made just her second appearance since her cancer diagnosis - as she prepares to bestow the Wimbledon men's singles trophy at the All England Club.

Princess Kate arrives at Wimbledon as crowd applauds for royal's second engagement since cancer shock

Donald Trump was shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania yesterday

‘We will FEAR NOT’: Trump urges Americans to ‘stay united’ after attempted assassination

Graziano Di Prima has broken his silence

Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima allegedly 'spat, kicked and berated' Zara McDermott before sacking

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Gunshots and a defiant fist: How the first attempted assassination against a Presidential candidate in 52 years unfolded

What will following the shooting of Donald Trump?

Donald Trump shot during campaign rally: Jon Sopel explains what it means for the US Presidential race

The nation is gripped by Euros fever

England expects! Nation gripped by Euros fever as fans prepare for historic final against Spain

Donald Trump has been shot through the ear at a rally in Pennsylvania - as one bystander was killed and two others were critically injured.

Pictured: Shocking scenes as gunman shoots Donald Trump during rally leaving one bystander dead

Liz Truss has reacted to her party's terrible election results

Liz Truss blames Tory election drubbing on Rishi Sunak ‘trashing her record’ before pointing finger at Tony Blair

Joe Biden reacts to the assassination attempt of Donald Trump

‘Everyone must condemn it’: Joe Biden labels Donald Trump assassination attempt ‘sick’ as world leaders react