Liz Truss is showing as much hubris now as she did when Prime Minister by dishing out resignation honours
Given Liz Truss' previous lack of judgement, should we really trust her decisions about who should represent us in the House of Lords, Politics Editor Ralph Blackburn writes
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This is when outgoing PMs select people to receive peerages, knight and damehoods and other lesser honours - often choosing colleagues who worked with them or served in their Cabinet or community heroes.
Only a few months ago, Boris Johnson’s list was beset with controversy, after he chose a relatively junior 30-year-old special adviser to become a life peer. And now the Times has reported that Liz Truss has selected 16 people to receive honours - one person for every three ignominious days she spent at Number 10.
It probably won’t surprise you that at least two of those people have declined the nomination, with one saying it would be “humiliating” to receive an honour from Truss. This leaves a list of 14 being vetted by the House of Lords appointments commission.
To be fair, this is far fewer people than Johnson submitted - with reports his initial list was almost 100, which was then whittled down to 40 awards. However, at least Boris Johnson won a general election as Conservative leader.
Truss’ list appears to show as much hubris as she did during her time in power, when, despite having no mandate from the public, she embarked on a radical programme of tax cuts funded by excessive borrowing, in the midst of a cost of living crisis and rampant inflation.
As we all know by now, the disastrous mini-budget spooked the markets, caused a huge spike in mortgage rates and led to Truss’ ignominious resignation. Yet despite this, Truss, and her huge ego, still appears reluctant to accept responsibility for the financial crisis that ensued, and her resignation honours is only the latest example of this.
In her first interview after her infamous premiership, Truss, with typical brass neck, blamed the “economic establishment” and a mysterious, vague “system” for conspiring against her.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, she said: “I am not claiming to be blameless in what happened, but fundamentally I was not given a realistic chance to enact my policies by a very powerful economic establishment, coupled with a lack of political support.
“I assumed upon entering Downing Street that my mandate would be respected and accepted. How wrong I was. While I anticipated resistance to my programme from the system, I underestimated the extent of it.”
In fact, Truss recently suggested that she thought her mini-budget may have worked in the long term, at an event to launch her own economic taskforce called, you guessed it, the Growth Commission. Given her previous lack of judgement, should we really trust her decisions about who should represent us in the House of Lords.
As well as barely owning up to her own mistakes, Truss has done rather well financially out other 49 days as Prime Minister. She was paid £18,660 just for resigning as Prime Minister, and is entitled to claim £115,000 per year for the rest of her life - as all former PMs can - from the controversial Public Duties Cost Allowance (PDCA).
If she claims it until the age of 86 - the average lifetime of a woman in the UK - she’ll have been given more than £65,000 per day she was in office.
Since resigning, she’s also raked in £184,000 for speaking engagements from India to Taiwan. You’re doing perfectly fine from your disastrous time a Prime Minister Liz, have some respect and leave the resignation honours alone.