‘Thatcherite’ Truss will make Brexit take centre-stage in world affairs, says ex-aide

Liz Truss 'didn't come across very strong' says Vine caller

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Speaking on GB News, Nile Gardiner described Ms Truss as a “Thatcherite” politician. He added that she would defend Boris Johnson’s “legacy” regarding both Britain’s response to Ukraine and Brexit. Mr Gardiner described the ongoing leadership contest as a “clear-cut clash between two different ideologies.”

The former aide said: “Firstly I think the removal of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister was wrong, and I oppose that. I think it was a bad decision. I do have a lot of sympathy for those in the grassroots members of the Conservative party who want to have a say here.

“There’s nothing wrong with having a petition of support on Boris.”

Turning his focus to the new candidates, Mr Gardiner said: “Liz Truss is a Thatcherite politician. Rishi Sunak is a big government, high tax approach – very different policy to Liz Truss.

“It’s a clear-cut clash between two different ideologies.”

“If Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister, she will defend the legacy of Boris Johnson with regard to British leadership on Ukraine, with regard to Brexit. Brexit would be safe in her hands.”

He later added via Twitter: “I opposed the forced resignation of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, but believe that if Thatcherite Liz Truss succeeds him in No 10, Brexit and British leadership on world stage will be protected and strengthened.”

His endorsement of Ms Truss’ approach to Brexit comes despite the fact that the foreign secretary voted Remain in the referendum and campaigned passionately for the UK to stay in the EU at the time.

Ms Truss’ changing of approach to the EU actually mimics Ms Thatcher’s.

Ms Thatcher backed staying in the European Economic Community back in the 1975 referendum, only to become more hostile towards it throughout her time in office as she opposed the single market.

The tough stance on Brussels that Ms Thatcher eventually adopted can arguably be seen reflected in Ms Truss’ approach to the Northern Ireland protocol. Ms Truss has introduced a bill which aims to rip up part of the original deal struck by Boris Johnson.

Ms Thatcher was similarly faced with high inflation as she approached No10. However, three Tory grandees who served in Ms Thatcher’s final cabinet have warned that the former PM would never have approved of Ms Truss’s plan to slash £30bn off taxes funded by borrowing.

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Chris Patten, Norman Lamont and Malcolm Rifkind highlighted that Ms Thatcher did not cut taxes until she had balanced the government’s deficit first, adding: “she did not believe in nonsense”.

Ms Truss has promised tax cuts from day one should she become leader, despite warnings from economists of the dangers of doing so.

She has denied comparisons to Ms Thatcher, while Rishi Sunak has specifically stated he would deliver “Thatcher-like reforms for the UK”.

A spokesperson for Ms Truss said: “Liz’s plans for tax cuts will reward people for their hard work and effort, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. You cannot tax your way to growth.”

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