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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Rowena Mason Whitehall editor

Sunak urged to act against Truss for spreading rightwing conspiracy theories

Rishi Sunak should take action against Liz Truss for appearing alongside the far-right commentator Steve Bannon and spreading conspiracy theories about the “deep state” ousting her from power, Labour has said.

During appearances at the Conservative Political Action Conference (Cpac), the former prime minister, who spent only seven weeks in power in 2022, appeared to be making the case for a comeback and relaunching her career in the UK.

She told a rightwing audience in Maryland in the US that her wing of UK conservatives needed a “bigger bazooka” to take on the “hostile environment” in which they were operating, taking aim at institutions that she claimed had thwarted her.

Truss also appeared alongside Bannon, a former strategist to Donald Trump, on Real America’s Voice, a far-right TV channel, in a hallway outside the main conference auditorium.

When Bannon raised recent comments by Nigel Farage warning of a radical Islamic party gaining seats in the British parliament, Truss replied: “There’s going to be a byelection in the next few weeks, and it could be a radical Islamic party win in that byelection. So that is a possibility.”

The Conservative MP, who is releasing a book called Ten Years to Save the West, argued that the left had infiltrated public and private institutions in “the deep state” and sabotaged her efforts to cut taxes and reduce the size of government.

Truss was forced out of office by her own party after her chancellor presented a budget of £45bn in unfunded tax cuts, which unleashed economic chaos, sent interest rates soaring and caused people to pay more for their mortgages.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said Sunak should address Truss’s comments and take action. “After crashing the economy and sending mortgages rocketing, Liz Truss is now spreading conspiracy theories with Steve Bannon and spearheading a wacky fringe group to take over the Tory party again.

“If Rishi Sunak had any backbone he would stand up and take action against her and Tory MPs indulging this sort of damaging nonsense.

“While Rishi’s recession bites across Britain, it’s clear that the biggest danger to family finances is the Conservative party. Only Labour has a plan to bring security back to family finances.”

The Liberal Democrats called for Truss to give back the £115,000 allowance for post-ministerial life she was given after leaving office.

“This Conservative party love-in for rightwing American politics is like watching a slow-moving car crash. These bizarre conspiracy theories peddled by Truss and her cabal should have no place in British politics. Blue wall voters will run a mile from this nonsense,” said Daisy Cooper, the party’s deputy leader.

“Liz Truss was never fit to be prime minister and certainly is not fit to be given a six-figure allowance of taxpayers’ money. It represents another slap in the face to all those paying hundreds of pounds more a month on their mortgages due to her disastrous policies and should be stripped immediately.”

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