'Mad as cheese' for Tory MPs to be putting in letters of no confidence already, says Andrew Marr

26 September 2022, 18:23

"I think the technical term for this is 'mad as cheese' - British cheese, mind you"

By Daisy Stephens

Having another Tory leadership contest weeks into Liz Truss' premiership would be 'mad as cheese', Andrew Marr has said.

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Several reports on Monday said some MPs were submitting letters of no confidence in Ms Truss after the pound plummeted to a record low against the US dollar following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini Budget.

In his opening monologue on Tonight with Andrew Marr, Andrew said: "Let's start with a few facts.

"Britain's five-year bond yields, that's the price of borrowing set by markets making a judgement on British government, are now worse than those of Italy and Greece.

"The pound, still weak, has rallied a bit against the dollar - not much - as currency speculators mooch around spitting gum on the streets while they wait for the Bank of England to raise interest rates.

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"Its governor has said tonight that it's ready to, although there has been no emergency meeting this afternoon.

"From ministers - utter silence.

"Yet so far the government insists it's not flinching in its enthusiasm for underfunded tax cuts to promote growth."

Andrew said Ms Truss' Tory leadership rival Rishi Sunak warned inflation was "the enemy" and so it was not "the responsible thing" to "launch into some unfunded spree of borrowing and more debt".

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Caller reacts to pound hitting all-time low against dollar

He went on: "Well, Tory MPs are already considering putting in letters for another leadership challenge against the new prime minister, Liz Truss, only weeks into her premiership.

"That would mean, in effect, no government for yet another chunk of the Autumn.

"I think the technical term for this is 'mad as cheese' - British cheese, mind you.

"As we wait for the Bank some of us hear echoes of Black Wednesday, the day 30 years ago when a falling pound and panicky rises in interest rates destroyed the reputation of the then-Chancellor Norman Lamont.

Read more: Chancellor bids to calm markets after pound plunges and Bank says it will raise interest rates 'if necessary'

Read more: From travel to food and mortgages to energy bills, what the plunging pound means for you

"That happened during party conference season too.

"I was with the Liberal Democrats in Harrogate and I vividly remember everyone suddenly deserting the conference hall as the scale of the crisis became apparent, and belting to the train station.

"Today, I'm with Labour in Liverpool and we are not there yet.

"But it's a weird, unsettling day.

"Labour looks and feels as if it is on the way back to power.

"One opinion poll gave it a 56-seat overall majority if there was an election held today.

"But what would be the condition of the economy it inherited?"