15 Oct 2022

Lettuce pray: UK tabloid predicts Truss’s short shelf-life

12:36 pm on 15 October 2022
British Prime Minister Liz Truss, and a lettuce.

Photo: Supplied / YouTube

A British newspaper today pitted Liz Truss in a race against a lettuce, asking readers if they thought the under-fire prime minister would lose her job before the vegetable decayed.

Truss is facing a backlash from Conservative MPs after firing her chancellor and announcing a second U-turn on a major economic policy today.

One former minister told the BBC: "we cannot go on like this indefinitely".

Another Tory MP said the party was in a "state of despair" after the PM's Downing Street news conference.

Truss supporter Christopher Chope said "time will tell" if she had done enough to secure her position but those plotting to remove her were "hyenas".

Sir Christopher said: "We can't possibly force another prime minister out of office, we've just got to calm down and try to give the prime minister our support."

The tabloid Daily Star set up a live feed of an unrefrigerated iceberg next to a photo of Truss.

"Which wet lettuce will last longer?," it asked in a Twitter post showing the feed that had garnered over 50,000 likes in its first five hours online.

The stunt echoed a comment at the other end of Britain's journalistic spectrum. In a column published this week titled "The Iceberg Lady", the Economist magazine described Truss as having "the shelf-life of a lettuce".

Truss's political role model, 1980s prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was widely known as the Iron Lady.

Truss on Friday fired finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng, after just 38 days in office.

The duo have been under mounting pressure to reverse a disastrously received economic package that forced the Bank of England to intervene in the bond market and prompted Conservative Party colleagues to openly discuss whether they should be replaced.

Conservative MP for Coalville, Andrew Bridgen, said he thinks "there'll be a challenge to Truss in the next few weeks".

Bridgen, who backed Rishi Sunak to be leader, said: "Dissatisfaction is so high in the parliamentary party.

"Removing Kwasi Kwarteng when he implemented the policies she asked him to do won't engender loyalty to her."

Privately many Conservative MPs admit they have gone through despondency and into despair over the past 24 hours.

By going back on her promise to cut taxes she has now alienated some of those who backed her in the leadership contest for her "bold" approach.

It is not hard to find Tory MPs who think her time is up.

One former backer told the BBC Truss had "appointed her successor," by bringing in Jeremy Hunt as chancellor.

"Sadly I think that hastened her demise," the Conservative MP said.

Another MP called Truss's news conference "a mega-disaster". They said: "She will have to resign - she is worse than Corbyn."

Truss insisted she would stay on as prime minister to see through her "mission" to get the economy growing.

"I'm absolutely determined to see through what I promised - to deliver a higher growth, more prosperous United Kingdom to see us through the storm we face," Truss said.

- BBC/Reuters

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