Rishi Sunak mocks Liz Truss for claiming to have been 'sabotaged' by the UK's 'deep state'

27 March 2024, 08:13

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Rishi Sunak has made fun of Liz Truss for the former Prime Minister's claim to have lost her job because of the UK's 'deep state'.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ms Truss raised eyebrows in February when she told a US conservative conference that her time in Downing Street had been "sabotaged" by the "administrative state and the deep state".

Her claim prompted Labour to call for her to lose the Conservative whip, although this did not happen.

Mr Sunak was asked on Tuesday if he was a member of the 'deep state' himself - but he told MPs: "I probably wouldn’t tell you if I was."

He would not respond to questions about whether he believed Ms Truss' claims, and suggested that the Commons Liaison Committee ask his predecessor instead.

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

Read more: Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party after claiming 'Islamists have control of Sadiq Khan'

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee at the House of Commons
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee at the House of Commons. Picture: Alamy

But his spokesman later said that he did not find the idea of a Deep State ridiculous.

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."

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

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”.

James O'Brien recalls the 'inspiration' behind Liz Truss' rise to power

“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."