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Latest from Liz Truss: Conservatives liken frontrunner U-turn to May dementia tax fiasco

Liz Truss will ‘channel the spirit of the Lionesses’ and defeat ‘plastic patriot’ Keir Starmer

Liz Truss dropped a Tory management pledge to cut public sector wages for workers outside London just hours after her announcement, prompting rival Rishi Sunak’s supporters to warn such a mistake could cost the party a future general election.

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and influential Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen were among those who compared the ‘misjudged’ policy to the ‘dementia tax’ fiasco that partly saw Theresa May fail win a majority in the 2017 general election.

Tory MP Mark Harper warned Margaret Thatcher ‘will be livid’ over the £8.8billion hole left in Ms Truss’ plans after the U-turn, and urged the Foreign Secretary to ‘stop to blame journalists” after she sought to claim she had been “misrepresented” in completely accurate reports of her press release about politics.

Ms Truss also sparked fury after she called Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon an ‘attention seeker’ who should be ignored, in comments during the Tories’ election campaign in Exeter on Monday that were described as ‘deeply disturbing’ by the Sturgeon’s assistant, John Swinney.


Labour’s lead over Tories ‘shrinks to 1%’ – YouGov poll

Labor has a 1% lead over the Tories in a new YouGov poll which asked respondents how they would vote if a general election were to be held ‘tomorrow’.

YouGov said Labor’s lead over the Tories had narrowed in a “sudden move” from 7 points to 1 point.

He tweeted: “It will be worth waiting to see if more polls replicate the magnitude of this narrowing gap before we can be certain of a Tory recovery.”

A total of 1,797 adults were interviewed on July 27 and 28.


The government said it was “deeply concerned” by claims that millions of factory-fed chickens died in the recent record-breaking heatwave, prompting officials to investigate.

The birds – confined to factory farm sheds – suffered in temperatures of up to 45C and slowly died of heat exhaustion, it has been alleged.

Some large producers have made little or no effort to ease the heat pressure on animals, insiders said. The Independent on condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs.

My colleagues Anna Isaac and Jane Dalton have the exclusive report here:


‘Demoralized’ official accuses government of using sector as ‘target’

A ‘demoralized’ civil servant lamented the onslaught of attacks on the sector by ministers and leadership candidates.

“It’s like we’re sort of puppets, and anytime the government needs an escape or an easy way out, or some cost-cutting measure, we’re a target,” they said. they told LBC.


Labor frontbenchers attack Liz Truss over public sector pay cut

Here are some reactions from the Labor frontbenches to Liz Truss’ U-turn on public sector pay cuts:


Analysis | Did Liz Truss fall victim to ‘civil service reform syndrome’?

Before Liz Truss’ U-turn today, The Independentthe Whitehall editor Kate Devlin asked in this analytical article whether the Minister of Foreign Affairs had “fallen victim to the ‘civil service reform syndrome'”.

Warning that Ms Truss’ reforms may prove more difficult to implement than expected, she wrote: “Civil service reform – three words that cause fear and exasperation in Whitehall and beyond.

As the Institute for Government points out, ministers have been preoccupied with reform almost since the 1854 report of Sir Charles Trevelyan and Sir Stafford Northcote formed the basis of the civil service.

“Political fads and bogeymen have passed (previous generations of civil servants are unlikely to have found notes on their desks asking why they were working from home, such as those recently distributed by Jacob Rees-Mogg, for example).

“But there were recurring themes, often centering on changes in the culture of the public service, including pay and conditions.”


Tories such as Truss might think cutting public sector wages ‘is appropriate leveling policy’, says former No 10 aide

Some Tories such as Liz Truss may think her now scrapped plans to cut public sector wages outside London “is appropriate leveling policy”, one policy pundit has suggested.

Giles Wilkes, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government think tank and a former adviser to Theresa May, suggested that might be the case “because they think outside of the South East the problem is that the private sector has difficult to attract good workers, who are attracted to relatively well-paid jobs in the public sector.


Last night’s Exeter hustings in a nutshell

For those who missed the Conservative election campaign in Exeter last night, here’s a recap of some of the key moments:

  • Both candidates faced quick rounds of questioning, during which Rishi Sunak insisted he was in politics ‘to turn things around’ and Liz Truss revealed that the opposition politician that she most admires is Labour’s Rosie Duffield.
  • Mr Sunak backed plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda but said it was not enough for the government to simply announce the scheme and in fact had to ‘make it work’ – moments after insisting the UK was an “incredibly special” place that “gives refuge to those fleeing persecution”.
  • In an uncomfortable overlap with Ms Truss’s vow to push forward legislation allowing her to tear up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Sunak insisted the UK ‘cannot tear up the treaties that we’ve already signed” as he made an apparent search. to her efforts while she was Secretary of International Trade. The ex-Chancellor argued that ministers should not be rushing to sign post-Brexit trade deals as quickly as possible, but should take “the time to do them right”.
  • Attempting to claw back support from party members inflamed by former rival Kemi Badenoch’s hard-right politics, which appears to favor Ms Truss, Mr Sunak sought to play off his ‘radicalism’ throughout the evening, insisting on the fact that he is “definitely” the candidate for “change”. In comments that do little for his credentials as the most experienced candidate, he pointed out that Ms Truss was in Cabinet even before she was an MP.
  • Calling herself a ‘child of the Union’, Ms Truss gave her verdict on a second independence referendum saying ‘the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is to ignore her’ – to wild cheers from the conservative public before labeling the Scottish Prime Minister “an attention seeker”.
  • Ms Truss suggested the Treasury ‘needs to change’ and, when asked if she would split the department, replied: ‘Well, I wouldn’t want to give them advance warning.’
  • The Foreign Secretary brushed off polls suggesting she would lose to Sir Keir Starmer in a general election, saying: ‘I saw the other polls that said I would win.
  • She also returned to criticizing the Leeds school system of her youth, accusing the left-leaning city council of being “more concerned with political correctness than making sure everyone could read and write”.

Liam Fox campaigns for Rishi Sunak in Aberdeen

Fresh off his stage appearance at last night’s roundups in Exeter, former Tory cabinet minister Liam Fox is now across the country trying to convince Tory MPs to back Rishi Sunak.


Truss U-turn sparks general election fears among Tories – and comparisons to ‘dementia tax’ fiasco

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has become the latest Tory to point to Liz Truss’s U-turn as the type of mistake that could cost the Tories a future general election – similarly to the disastrous dementia tax policy of Theresa May in 2017.

“What if this kind of basic mistake had been made during an election campaign? 2017 once again. Poor judgement, lack of detail and a giveaway to Labour,’ Mr Hancock said, adding: ‘Cutting public sector wages outside London is a bad idea… It’s a race down not up .

The influential Tory Mayor of Teesside Ben Houchen also warned the U-turn could be Ms Truss’ ‘dementia tax moment’ in remarks to the BBC.

Their comments follow similar claims from the conservative grassroots group, the Liberal Conservatives, who warned: “Mistakes like this can cost a general election, as the ‘madness tax’ mess has shown. by Theresa May. Now is not the time to make chaotic, uncosted and untested political promises. We need competent leadership.


Truss repeats his scrapped pay cut policy was ‘twisted’

Liz Truss has doubled down on her claims that her now-dropped political pledge was ‘twisted’ – after her press release on the plan was accurately reported to include her campaign’s claim that applying the planned cuts to all public sector workers could save £8.8 billion.

But the Foreign Secretary insisted people were ‘unnecessarily worried’ about her plans for regional pay commissions, telling the BBC in Dorset: ‘I’m afraid my policy on this has been misrepresented. It was never my intention to change the terms and conditions of teachers and nurses.

“But what I want to be clear is that I will not be going ahead with regional compensation commissions. It’s no longer my policy.

Responding to the suggestion that it was an error in judgement, she said: ‘I’m absolutely honest, I’m concerned that people are worried – unnecessarily worried – about my policies and, therefore, I specify that the regional compensation commissions will not go ahead.

Here’s what Conservative MP Mark Harper had to say about it, in a sharp rebuke to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: