Truss vows to ‘not open Pandora’s box’ after being asked ‘difficult’ leadership question

Liz Truss labels Keir Starmer a ‘plastic patriot’

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Ms Truss has ruled out making changes to the UK’s hunting laws, likening reigniting the debate to “opening Pandora’s box.” The Foreign Secretary told a Conservative Party member during the live leadership hustings in Exter on Monday that revisiting the 2004 ban would “possibly make the situation worse” for those who enjoy country sports.

Asked to repeal the Hunting Act 2004, Ms Truss replied: “You might know I’m an MP in Norfolk, which is a fantastic place for country sports – we have a very strong shooting industry, I’m very, very supportive of country sports.

“I remember being a minister under David Cameron’s government and looking at this issue, and I think opening Pandora’s box could possibly make the situation worse for people who enjoy country sports.

“So, whilst I share your love of rural pastimes and I’m a strong supporter of all the fantastic conservation work the shooting industry does, I think we’ve got to be very careful about opening that box.”

Though Ms Truss said she was “prepared to break eggs” in taking on Treasury and Whitehall orthodoxy.

 

Asked by hustings host and Financial Times journalist Sebastian Payne if the Treasury should be broken up, Ms Truss said “Well, I wouldn’t want to give them any advance warning if I was going to do that”, laughing as the line drew applause.

She added: “I do think the Treasury needs to change. And it has been a block on progress.”

She talked about “challenging” the Treasury and Whitehall “orthodoxy”, and said: “I’m prepared to break eggs to make the omelette.”

Asked if David Cameron’s government’s economic strategy was wrong, she said: “No. There were good elements to the strategy. But I think we should have done more long-term reform, particularly of things like social care. I think it was wrong to cut the social care budget and then we’re now suffering the consequences of that.”

She also said: “I want to reform the public sector. I’m going to lay out a 10-year plan of how we get rid of lots of quangos. We’ve got 500 of them. How we slim down Whitehall. How we cut out bureaucracy.”

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