Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
7 September 2022

Keir Starmer prepares to take on Liz Truss

The Labour leader will do battle over policy differences, not personality.

By Rachel Wearmouth

The main political action today will be Liz Truss’s first Prime Minister’s Questions.

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, told his MPs on Monday night that they should “never underestimate” Truss and that she is a “talented politician who has got to the top through hard work and determination”. That was a change in tone from how Starmer spoke about her predecessor Boris Johnson, who he called, among other things, a “pathetic spectacle of a man” and “ridiculous”.

Details of Truss’s plan to address the energy crisis are still being worked out, Thérèse Coffey, her Deputy Prime Minister, told reporters this morning. Reports suggest, however, that an expected energy price freeze that keeps bills at the present cap of £1,971 could amount to a £150bn bailout, to be paid for from general taxation. Starmer, who will aim to do battle over policy rather than personality, may want to make much of the difference with his similar plan, which would be paid for with a backdated windfall tax.

Truss spent last night finalising her cabinet, which came with few surprises. Jacob Rees-Mogg gets his first big department as he has been named Business Secretary, putting the right-winger in charge of workers’ rights at a time of widespread industrial action over pay.

Kemi Badenoch, who performed well in the leadership contest, is Trade Secretary. Although Truss used the role to build momentum for her own run at the top job, Badenoch could spend much of her time chasing a US-UK trade deal that is not a priority for Joe Biden’s administration.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • 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 New Statesman Media Group 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.

Truss’s press secretary said that her top team was a unity cabinet because it contained five leadership candidates, but supporters of Rishi Sunak, including Grant Shapps and Dominic Raab, were sacked and replaced with loyalists. The new Prime Minister will chair her first cabinet meeting this morning before heading to the Commons for PMQs.

Content from our partners
Supporting customers through the cost of living crisis
Data on cloud will change the way you interact with the government
Defining a Kodak culture for the future

This piece first appeared in the Morning Call newsletter; subscribe here.

[See also: Does Liz Truss have anything to say?]

Topics in this article : , ,