“I think the last thing we need is a general election,” Liz Truss told MPs at PMQs today. Try telling that to the 61 per cent of the country calling for an election in a recent poll by Opinium.
In her first PMQs since the announcement of the government’s explosive mini-budget, Truss faced a baying mob of opposition MPs, while silent Tory rebels sat amongst the ranks of her own party.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer led the charge, asking the PM if she agrees that market turmoil had anything to do with the budget – but Truss dodged the question, instead promising that her plans would create “higher growth and lower inflation”.
“What we have done is we have taken decisive action. We have taken decisive action to make sure that people are not facing energy bills of £6,000 for two years,” Truss added.
After Starmer confronted her with the story of a couple from Wolverhampton who had a mortgage offer withdrawn after “the government’s spending spree sent interest rates spiralling,” Truss instead responded with the familiar refrain: “The fact is that when I came into office, people were facing energy bills of up £6,000.”
“What we are doing is helping people with lower stamp duty, helping people with their energy costs, reducing inflation with our energy package and keeping taxes low,” the PM said.
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“Avoiding the question, ducking responsibility, lost in denial,” the labour leader retorted, voicing what was undoubtedly on the minds of many in the chamber.
Truss’ performance was far from a convincing one, and will do little to assuage the concerns of Tory MPs. Indeed, as Sky’s Beth Rigby reports that Truss headed to the Commons tearoom following the session on her new charm offensive to win over her own MPs. Good luck with that.