Liz Truss on Question Time: what did ex adviser say in Whitehall Sources podcast to get PM out of BBC show?

The ex-aide said Liz Truss did not like the media, so advisers would “kill off” family members to avoid interview appearances.

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Liz Truss’ advisers used to pretend one of her family members had died so she could get out of television appearances, a former aide has claimed.

Kirsty Buchanan, who worked for the Prime Minister when she was justice secretary between 2016 and 2017, made the revelation when she appeared on the Whitehall Sources podcast. She said: “[Truss] didn’t like the media, so we used to spend quite a lot of time making up excuses and killing off minor members of her family so she didn’t have to go on Question Time.”

The ex-aide claimed “minor” relatives included “aunts and cousins”, adding, “I’m not talking about major members of the family.”

But advisers eventually ran out of excuses according to Buchanan, and Truss had no choice but to appear on the BBC politics programme. The Prime Minister was reportedly particularly keen to avoid a certain panellist, who her former aide did not name, but who has previously appeared on the show with Truss.

Buchanan said: “We turn up in the green room and there is the one person she didn’t want to be on the panel.”

The claims come amidst a particularly turbulent week for the Prime Minister, with mounting pressure for her to resign and rumours of Tory MPs plotting to oust her. Adding more chaos to Truss’ already dramatic premiership, Suella Braverman has resigned as Home Secretary.

In line with her alleged aversion to the media, Truss admitted that she “was not much of a public speaker” during her Tory leadership campaign. She was also recently slammed for an “appalling” PMQs performance by her own Tory MPs as she attempted to field attacks from the Labour Party over the government’s disastrous mini budget.

Despite her aide’s claims - and perhaps her attempts to get out of the interviews - Truss appeared on BBC Question Time nine times between 2012 and 2019. She has served as an MP since 2010 and held a series of senior cabinet jobs before becoming prime minister, including justice secretary, environment secretary, trade secretary and foreign secretary.