Liz Truss: what you need to know

Liz Truss is the new UK Prime Minister.

It comes after the Conservative Party spent over two months tearing itself to shreds over the leadership contest – completely ignoring the devastating cost-of-living crisis they’ve helped to create.

So who is Liz Truss? Here’s a summary containing all you need to know.

Another Tory Prime Minister with no mandate in Scotland

Scotland hasn’t voted for the Tories since 1955. The youngest people who were able to vote in that election were born in 1934.

Since then, we’re now on the ninth Tory Prime Minister that Scotland hasn’t voted for – and only 0.2% of the UK’s population, those who are members of the Conservative Party, had the power to make that choice.

In Scotland, that’s just 11,000 people – exposing just how badly British democracy is broken.

Continuity Boris Johnson

While Boris Johnson has resigned, Liz Truss simply represents Boris Johnson continuity – bringing the same contempt for the rules, for ordinary people, and for Scotland.

When Boris Johnson became the first Prime Minister to break the law while in office, Liz Truss defended him.

When Boris Johnson repeatedly broke international law, Truss defended him.

And when vast swathes of UK government ministers were resigning over Partygate, Liz Truss – the self-professed “Boris Johnson fan” – was still defending the indefensible.

Said she would “ignore” Scotland’s First Minister

In the Tory leadership hustings in Exeter, Liz Truss said she would “just ignore” Nicola Sturgeon, who she also labelled an “attention seeker”.

Nicola Sturgeon was democratically elected with a much bigger mandate than any Tory Prime Minister since 1959 – but by “ignoring” the First Minister, Liz Truss made clear her intentions to ignore Scotland’s voters.

She backed pay cuts in poorer parts of Britain, before a screeching U-turn

During her leadership campaign, Liz Truss backed introducing regional pay boards instead of national ones to set salaries for civil servants. This would mean paying government employees in poorer parts of the country less than their counterparts in more affluent areas, such as London.

However, experts warned that in order to “save £8.8bn”, as Liz Truss claimed, the plan would also have cut the salaries of teachers, nurses and police officers.

While Truss insisted there was a “wilful misrepresentation” of her policy – despite it coming straight from her own press release – she eventually U-turned on the plans.

In fact, Truss has a long history of backing public sector pay cuts – in 2009, for example, she personally backed cutting the pay of NHS doctors and cutting the NHS budget.

Truss has consistently voted to cut welfare benefits

48 times, in fact.

At a time when food bank use is skyrocketing, child poverty is soaring and people are struggling with the Tory cost-of-living crisis, Liz Truss repeatedly said she is not in favour of “handouts”.

The UN’s special rapporteur on poverty, Philip Alston, said that “the UK Government’s policies have led to the systematic immiseration of millions across Great Britain” – and yet Liz Truss is prepared to go further down the path of wilfully pushing families into poverty.

Meanwhile, as the cost-of-living crisis spirals and four million Scots face fuel poverty, the new Prime Minister refuses to deliver real action – such as an energy price freeze, as the SNP is calling for.

Supports the hardest, most damaging form of Brexit

Despite originally backing Remain in 2016, Liz Truss’ political opportunism turned her into a supporter of Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit.

The OBR – the UK government’s own financial body – said that the long-term economic impact of Brexit will be twice as bad as that of Covid.

Brexit is also causing shortages of supplies, higher inflation and delays – while small businesses across Scotland are struggling with the extra costs and bureaucracy.

She failed to deliver any significant benefits from trade deals

As International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss repeatedly promised “vast opportunities” in trade from Brexit.

One of the few agreements Truss managed to secure was with New Zealand, but research from the House of Commons Library said it has a “negligible (0.0%) impact on UK GDP.”

They added: “This assessment suggested that an agreement with New Zealand could have a negative impact on the agriculture and semi-processed food sectors, and on Northern Ireland.”

Similarly, with the Australia deal, the UK’s trade deals don’t even touch the sides of compensating the damage of Brexit – while putting Scotland’s agricultural sector under threat.

Let’s choose a better future with independence

Regardless of who is Prime Minister, the Westminster system is utterly broken – and it’s simply not working for Scotland.

Countries similarly sized to Scotland, like Ireland, Belgium and Denmark, are wealthier, fairer, more equal and more productive than the UK – despite having fewer natural resources than Scotland.

By taking our future into our own hands, we will always get the governments we vote for, working in Scotland’s best interests – and we’ll be able to rejoin the European Union, a market seven times the size of the UK.

Join over half a million people across Scotland and pledge your support for Scottish independence.