Liz Truss has broken her silence following her resignation last year, blaming the “powerful economic establishment” and her own Conservative Party for her downfall.
The former prime minister says she stands by her radical economic policy, but claims “the forces against it were too great” for it to succeed.
Ms Truss admits she is not “blameless” in the premature end to her tenure in No 10, but adds she was not given a “realistic chance” to see her policies through.
In her first detailed comments since leaving office in September 2022, writing in theSunday Telegraph, she said: “I am not claiming to be blameless in what happened, but fundamentally I was not given a realistic chance to enact my policies by a very powerful economic establishment, coupled with a lack of political support.
“I assumed upon entering Downing Street that my mandate would be respected and accepted. How wrong I was. While I anticipated resistance to my programme from the system, I underestimated the extent of it.
“Similarly, I underestimated the resistance inside the Conservative parliamentary party to move to a lower-tax, less-regulated economy.”
Ms Truss also criticised Whitehall’s “strength of economic orthodoxy and its influence on the market” and condemned Treasury officials for blindsiding her on the collapse of the pension market, which preceded her exit.
While not mentioning Rishi Sunak by name, she takes a swipe at the PM and his increase of cooperation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent, branding his policy “economically detrimental”.
Ms Truss also accuses the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) of putting fiscal policy in a “straightjacket” and disagreed with its assessment of the impact of her proposed tax cuts.
In her essay, she says the OBR “tends to undervalue the benefits of low taxes and supply-side reforms for economic growth and overvalue the benefits of public spending”.
She added: “This inevitably puts pressure on a higher-tax and higher-spend outcome – hence the inexorable tax rises we are now seeing.”
Ms Truss stepped down as prime minister after just 44 days in office, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in the history of the United Kingdom. The former prime minister had won a leadership battle against PM Rishi Sunak last summer on a low tax, high growth agenda.
Her mini budget famously crashed the pound to its lowest rate against the dollar, and the Bank of England was forced to make emergency interventions to calm the markets, leading to the sacking of former chancellor and close friend Kwasi Kwarteng. Ms Truss said the sacking “deeply disturbed” her, but it was necessary to avoid a “serious meltdown”.
Ms Truss resigned the week after, saying she no longer commanded the confidence of her MPs.
She says: “I am not claiming to be blameless in what happened, but fundamentally I was not given a realistic chance to enact my policies by a very powerful economic establishment, coupled with a lack of political support”.
Ms Truss also discussed the toll her premature exit had on her, saying it has been “bruising for me personally”, and adding “soul-searching has not been easy”.