Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Election 2024
  2. Commons Confidential
31 August 2022updated 07 Sep 2022 8:35am

Liz Truss is ready for Prime Minister’s Questions – as long as they’re from Vogue

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.

By Kevin Maguire

Short of installing a walk-in fridge, it’s difficult to see what else TV-interview-dodger Liz Truss could do to signal she’d be just as unaccountable in No 10 as her slippery hero, Boris Johnson. Pulling out of a forensic BBC interview with Nick Robinson was straight out of the Johnson playbook, reminiscent of the time he blanked Andrew Neil in 2019. Excited Truss aides gush there is one publication certain to be granted an audience by their Instagram-posing boss: Vogue. The fashion mag is already chasing Truss, they smirked, after Nicola Sturgeon mocked her desperation to appear. Snubbed Robinson could have secured his interview with a photocall and a chat about her favourite designer, rather than burning questions about energy bills and the soaring cost of living.

Rather than turning up the thermostat, Theresa May could always keep warm this winter by wearing the £470 designer jumper and £450 raincoat she sported in her own American Vogue appearance in 2017. The £74,000 fee she registered over the summer for a speech to Deutsche Bank in London suggests, however, the former PM won’t be choosing between heating and eating. Sturgeon, by the way, wasn’t as nonchalant during her two Vogue bookings as she had suggested. A Scottish snout growled she had omitted to mention her office ringing the publication to ask if she’d be on the front of the magazine. “The cover story? No. Who does she think she is, Kate Moss?” was the brutal response.

[See also: When Liz Truss asked a Lib Dem MP for Tory support]

Sulking Sunak is struggling to appear cheerful ahead of the likely announcement on 5 September that the Conservative cult has preferred to parachute Truss into No 10. Having to vote for a “fairy tale” emergency Budget will be the final humiliation. Friends increasingly believe he’ll quit parliament at the next election as well as refuse to serve in her cabinet. The Truss Tory party in Westminster promises to be as poisonous as Labour under Corbyn.

How to avoid being overshadowed by the voracious, insatiable ego of Johnson is troubling Truss. The plan, I’m informed, is to appoint somebody on her team specifically to deal with him, so he “doesn’t become another Prince Harry and Meghan Markle”. Truss, a notoriously poor public speaker, does not know yet whether Johnson will be appearing at October’s Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. Her nightmare is that he steals the show.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

The snooty Carlton Club is still smarting that Johnson’s toppling was triggered on its St James’s Street premises by Chris Pincher’s drunken rampage. “The worst bit,” sniffed a fully paid-up bore, “is Chris isn’t even a member of our club.” Saves demanding a resignation or expelling him, I suppose.

[See also: Liz Truss’s tax policy will damage Conservatives’ record on the economy]

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

Topics in this article : , ,

This article appears in the 31 Aug 2022 issue of the New Statesman, The Liz Truss Doctrine