15 October 2022

Her days are numbered: Papers round on Liz Truss after Chancellor pays price for chaos

15 October 2022

Another turbulent day for Liz Truss has sparked a wealth of reaction from the nation’s papers, with growing sentiment that the Prime Minister’s days are numbered.

Ms Truss sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor and ditched a major chunk of her mini-budget on Friday in a desperate bid to stay in power.

Here, we take a look at what the papers made of Ms Truss’s extraordinary gamble.

Under the header “A day of chaos”, The Guardian labels her latest policy reversal “humiliating”, with political editor Pippa Crerar writing inside the paper: “Truss will be hoping that sacking Kwarteng as chancellor will take the heat off her, at the very least buying her some valuable time to try to steady the mutinous Tory ship.

“But as his departure letter – and her reply – showed, their radical plan to rip up the economy to boost growth was very much a joint endeavour.”

The Times carries a source close to the former chancellor, who tells the paper Mr Kwarteng believes the move “only buys her a few more weeks”, adding: “His view is that the wagons are still going to circle.”

That sentiment is strongly echoed by the iWeekend and the Daily Mirror, with the latter carrying the headline: “Time’s up.”

An editorial inside the Mirror goes even further, writing: “For however long Liz Truss lasts she has already secured her place as one of the worst Prime Ministers in history.

“While this paper will not mourn watching her premiership limp towards its inevitable end it does mourn the damage she is doing.

“But it is not just the leader who must go. The Tories have turned a once prosperous and stable country into an international laughing stock. They all need to go.”

Despite acknowledging Ms Truss has a “perilous path ahead”, The Daily Telegraph urges the Tory party to rally around the under-fire PM.

An editorial comment states: “(Ms Truss’s) platform is still the correct one for the country and her party.

“This is no time for going wobbly: Tory MPs should let Ms Truss get on with the job.”

The Daily Express is also in the PM’s corner, with a leading article calling on Ms Truss to find the same fire that propelled her to victory in the Conservative leadership race.

“The PM should think back to the leadership contest in which she won resounding support with a punchy performance that doomed Rishi Sunak’s slick campaign,” the paper writes.

“Yesterday was a miserable day for Ms Truss but she should not withdraw into the Downing Street bunker.”

However, the Daily Mail, which has so far been supportive of Ms Truss’s premiership, appears to be nearing its limit.

The front page coverage of the story runs under the header: “How much more can she (and the rest of us) take?”

Meanwhile, an editorial inside the paper states the Prime Minister is likely on her last chance.

It states: “Nobody can pretend that Ms Truss’s few frantic weeks in Downing Street have fulfilled the promise she seemed to show. On the contrary, it is impossible to argue that her premiership thus far has been anything other than a disaster.

“But if she doesn’t get her act together — and lightning fast — the message will surely spread throughout the Tory party that the only conceivable hope of winning the next election lies in an intelligent, swift and universally accepted resolution of this crisis.

“Surely there are, in our governing party, men and women of judgment and sense, not given to panic but with the best interests of the country at heart. The day may come when it’s time for them to assert themselves — and for the grown-ups to take charge.”

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