Andrew Neil gives brutal verdict on Liz Truss as he issues warning

Liz Truss: Today's actions were 'last throw of the dice' says Rigby

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Andrew Neil has given his brutal verdict on Liz Truss as the Prime Minister battles to save her premiership. The veteran journalist, widely regarded as Britain’s toughest political interrogator, said the notion that Ms Truss can sack Kwasi Kwarteng and make another mini-budget U-turn but remain in power is “for the birds”.

In a warning to the Tories, Mr Neil said a “wipeout is certain” in the next general election if Ms Truss is still at the helm.

Writing in the Daily Mail, the former BBC presenter said: “So we are where we are. Which is not a good place for the country, the Tory Party or Liz Truss.

“As I’ve said, I suspect she will be gone sooner rather than later. That alone won’t give the Tories their fifth consecutive election victory but it could ameliorate their losses.”

In a brutal verdict on Ms Truss, Mr Neil said she is “destined to be but a footnote in history” alongside Andrew Bonar Law who he described as “another forgotten Tory PM”.

Mr Neil’s comments come after the Prime Minister yesterday sacked her Chancellor and U-turned on dropping the planned rise in corporation tax from 19 percent to 25 percent in a bid to stay in Number 10.

It came after three weeks of turmoil on the financial markets in the wake of the tax-slashing mini-budget.

But it is unclear if her actions on Friday will be enough to keep her in Downing Street amid reports of plots by Tory MPs to replace her.

Jeremy Hunt, twice a Tory leadership contender and a former foreign secretary, has been parachuted in as a safe pair of hands in Number 11.

Allies of Mr Hunt yesterday suggested he would now be the “chief executive” in Government, with Ms Truss “chairman”.

At a brief news conference in Downing Street on Friday, Ms Truss dismissed calls for her resignation, insisting she was “absolutely determined to see through what I have promised”.

She said: “It is clear that parts of our mini-budget went further and faster than markets were expecting, so the way we are delivering our mission right now has to change.

“We will do whatever is necessary to ensure debt is falling as a share of the economy in the medium term.”

In his first interview since taking the job, the new Chancellor today warned of “difficult decisions” to come on tax and spending.

He told Sky News: “It’s a big honour to do the job that I’ve been asked to do by the Prime Minister but I want to be honest with people: we have some very difficult decisions ahead.

“The last few weeks have been very tough but the context of course is coming out of a pandemic and a cost of living crisis.

“And the thing that people want, markets want, the country needs now, is stability. No Chancellor can control the markets.

“But what I can do is show that we can pay for our tax and spending plans, and that is going to need some very difficult decisions on both spending and tax.”

Mr Hunt also hit out at the “mistakes” of Ms Truss’s administration with economic policies.

He said: “It was a mistake when we’re going to be asking for difficult decisions across the board on tax and spending to cut the rate of tax paid by the very wealthiest.

“It was a mistake to fly blind and to do these forecasts without giving people the confidence of the Office of Budget Responsibility saying that the sums add up. The Prime Minister’s recognised that, that’s why I’m here.”

Mr Hunt was tight-lipped on any details on what could be in the fiscal statement on October 31, where he will set out how he intends to get the public finances back on track.

He said: “Spending will not rise by as much as people would like and all Government departments are going to have to find more efficiencies than they were planning to.

“And some taxes will not be cut as quickly as people want. Some taxes will go up. So it’s going to be difficult.”

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