Liz Truss has insisted that she is a “fighter not a quitter,” as she stepped up to the dispatch box for just her third PMQs today. But her performance left much to be desired.
After a grilling from Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, as to why the chancellor lost his job following the mini-budget and she didn’t, Truss showed a moment of humility: ” I am sorry and I have made mistakes.” But her apology was simply met with calls for her resignation from the opposition benches.
Starmer launched his attempt to dismantle Truss’s fragile position by asking : “A book is being written about the Prime Minister’s time in office; apparently, it’s going to be out by Christmas. Is that the release date, or the title?”
The real stinger, however, came when Starmer said: “She repeatedly criticised labour’s plan for a six month freeze on energy bills; this week, the chancellor made it her policy.”
“How can she be held to account when she’s not in charge,” the Labour leader mocked.
Truss also faced difficult questions from Ian Blackford, when the Westminster leader of the SNP asked the PM to commit to the pensions triple lock.
“Can the prime minister turn to her chancellor right now, and ask permission for another U-turn,” Blackford jibed.
Truss was straight to the point, claiming that she is “completely committed” to maintaining the triple lock, despite, only yesterday, Downing Street failing to guarantee its survival. Can pensioners now feel reassured by the PM’s words? Perhaps. Though at this point, a so-called commitment from the Truss administration seems to count for very little.
Truss might have done enough to hang on, at least for the rest of the afternoon, but there are plenty of Tories who, by now, would rather she were not a fighter, but instead a quitter.