Tory leadership: Will Walden warns about Liz Truss' strategy
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Political strategist Will Walden has warned the Foreign Secretary’s strategy to win over Conservative members may backfire. The Downing Street insider exposed the “biggest risk” of Liz Truss’s leadership campaign as the race to replace Boris Johnson near its conclusion.
Mr Walden told LBC: “I don’t actually think that much has changed last night I think I think Lizzie’s team will be reasonably happy.
“I think that the risk that she has and clearly she’s the front runner is threefold and if I was there today I’d be saying they need to watch three things.
“There seems to be a machine gun of over promises on policy and you know, she promised a new metro for Leeds last night.
“If we have eleven more hustings, she’s got to pay for it, presumably eleven more metros,” he joked.
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“I think they definitely got to watch that and I think her biggest risk is scrutiny, as we go on, there will be more scrutiny, particularly of her financial numbers.”
“I think the question that she’s not yet been asked by Tory members, I’m sure will be asked is, you know, what goes first she talks about this 30 billion of headroom, with interest rates that’s coming down every day that that signal is smaller and smaller every day. So the question is, what is she cut first?
“But I think the other problem that she’s got is, there’s only a certain limit by which Tory members will accept that she hasn’t been a member of all these governments.
“I mean, she’s done an extraordinary thing which Boris did in 2019, which she has almost painted a picture that she’s totally new to government, and I think last night was really interesting when she said that the school should have stayed open in the pandemic, my mouth sort of dropped open.
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“I was like us sitting around the Cabinet table, and I think she’s got to be very wary of continuing to say that she wasn’t part of this government and to say she could have done things differently.
“Because eventually Tory members will look at it and say, hang on a minute, you’ve been around that table for eight years in total under three prime ministers.
“So I mean, that’s what I’d be saying to them this morning.
“But I think you know, she’s clearly the front runner and it is her’s to lose.”
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Ms Truss received a boost for her campaign to become the country’s next prime minister when Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gave her his support on Friday.
Wallace, who rose in popularity thanks to his handling of the Ukraine crisis, had been seen as the early favourite to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister before he ruled himself out in favour of focussing on his defence role.
He said Truss, who is on course to defeat former finance minister Rishi Sunak according to opinion polls of members of the ruling Conservative Party, was “authentic” and “straight”.
“I have sat with her in Cabinet, bilateral meetings and international summits. She stands her ground. Above all, she is straight and means what she says,” he wrote in the Times.
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