'I don't think it's funny': Liz Truss says being compared to a lettuce was 'puerile' after 44-day stint as PM

19 June 2023, 15:45 | Updated: 19 June 2023, 15:48

Liz Truss resigned after 44 days as prime minister following the failure of her government's mini-budget
Liz Truss resigned after 44 days as prime minister following the failure of her government's mini-budget. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Liz Truss has said she did not find being compared to a lettuce funny, describing the stunt as "puerile".

Ms Truss was asked about the Daily Star's stunt for the first time, which saw the publication run a competition about whether she could outlast a lettuce as prime minister.

Following the fallout from her government's mini-budget, Ms Truss was forced to resign after 44 days inside No10 - meaning the lettuce won.

The competition between Ms Truss and the lettuce came after a comparison between the two by the Economist.

Speaking about her time in office, the publication said: "That is the shelf-life of a lettuce.”

The Daily Star then set up a live stream with a 60p lettuce, next to picture of Ms Truss, to see which of the two could outlast each other.

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Speaking at a media conference in Dublin, the former prime minister Liz Truss also labelled comparisons between her dress sense and Margaret Thatcher's as "lazy thinking".

She said female politicians are often compared with one another because "there aren't that many of us".

"I just think, frankly, it's lazy thinking on people's part. It's not something I have ever consciously sought to do at all," she said.

Liz Truss lasted 44 days in office
Liz Truss lasted 44 days in office. Picture: Getty

Continuing her criticism of the press, Ms Truss said that although the "robust debate" in the British media represents "a good thing overall", she also expressed frustration with certain elements.

"I think that the British media are known throughout the world for being particularly vociferous and I don't think they are particularly deferential to politicians," she said.

"It's frustrating because I came into politics because I wanted to change the country, I want to push particular ideas, and it is frustrating when you get diverted onto a discussion of what hat you're wearing, or whether you like photographs, all this other stuff, rather than one of the crucial issues that are affecting Britain, Europe, Ireland and the US.

"I do think sometimes politics is sort of treated as a branch of the entertainment industry. Who's up, who's down, who says what about who - it's a bit playground when there are really serious issues going on."

Read More: 'No one got hurt': UK’s reaction to Liz Truss’ premiership was 'a bit hysterical', former Bank of England governor says

Read More: Liz Truss' Taiwan trip makes Chinese 'reunification' with island more likely, Beijing spokesman threatens

In a statement outside No10 after just 44 days in office, she said: "Our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth.

"We set out a vision for a low tax, high growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.

"I have spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party."

Her government was engulfed with political turmoil, losing first Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng off the back of the mini-budget that crashed the pound and sent household costs soaring.

Read in full: Liz Truss's resignation speech

Ms Truss's stint as PM is the shortest in British history, with Rishi Sunak ultimately replacing her.

The previous record-holder was Tory statesman George Canning, who spent 118 days as prime minister in 1827 before dying in office from ill-health.

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