Truss attacked for forsaking Red Wall

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Liz Truss has been criticised for forsaking the ‘Red Wall’ by pursuing “Thatcherite” economics. After less than one month in Number 10, the Prime Minister has been warned she could soon be shown the door unless she changes course.

After his 2019 electoral victory, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked voters in so-called ‘Red Wall’ areas – these typically being social conservative Britons who would usually vote Labour – who he claimed “lent him” their support.

His comments highlighted that the Tory party must work in order to hold onto backing in these ares – that this support could expire.

Brexiteer and trade unionist Paul Embery has now commented that Liz Truss’s first weeks in office demonstrate that this lesson has not been properly understood.

He wrote in a post on Twitter that “the Tories won a new electoral constituency in 2019: working class ‘Red Wall’ voters who believed they had ditched Thatcherism and adopted one-nationism”.

This comes after analysis from the Financial Times suggested most Tory voters now tend to lean to the left in terms of economics and are more traditionalist with regards to social values.

Mr Embery argues that these positions have been abandoned by the Conservative party.

He said: “What Truss has done would be like Blair getting elected in 1997 and instantly announcing an 80 percent tax rate and wholesale nationalisation.”

The FT research also suggested that the Tory party of today is further from its base than it was in 2019 and that the parliamentary group is now more economically right wing and socially progressive than it was in the past.

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Many commentators have pointed to the approach to immigration as an indicator of this cult.

‘Red Wall’ voters, polling shows, tend to favour strong controls on levels of immigration and care about the impact of mass immigration on their local community.

In her first weeks in Number 10, however, Ms Truss is reported to have signalled a willingness to further loosen immigration rules in an attempt to help the economy.

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Her focus to this point appears to have been making efforts to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

But here too, Ms Truss has faced criticism for her policies, with Politics Professor Matthew Goodwin describing tax cuts and cuts on public services spending as “an utterly toxic combination”.

He added that he “cannot stress enough how unpopular” this approach is among British voters.

Financial paper Bloomberg described Ms Truss’s first few weeks in office as “the most turbulent debut of any British prime minister in peacetime”.

It said: “In just three weeks, her administration has been battered by a crisis of confidence in her policies that have triggered a collapse in the pound and a surge in borrowing costs that threaten to push the UK toward a deep recession and a housing market crash.”

A U-turn on tax cuts have further weakened her administration’s ability to shore up support, according to some critics.

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