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UK PM Liz Truss says ‘sorry’ for mistakes, policy U-turns

With rebellious voices within her party growing louder in recent days, Liz Truss insisted that she remains focussed on her economic growth mission of “delivering for the British people”.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss looks on as she speaks to the media at the Empire State building in New York, US, Sept. 20, 2022. (Reuters)

British Prime Minister Liz Truss has apologised for the tumultuous first few weeks of her leadership, which involved some of the most dramatic U-turns in British politics.

Speaking for the first time since her entire tax-cutting agenda was reversed by her new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, Truss admitted on Monday night that mistakes were made but insisted she is going nowhere and would lead the Conservative Party into the next general election. With rebellious voices within her party growing louder in recent days, the Tory leader insisted that she remains focussed on her economic growth mission of “delivering for the British people”.

“I recognise we have made mistakes. I am sorry for those mistakes, but I fixed those mistakes,” said Truss.

“I appointed a new Chancellor, we have restored economic stability and fiscal discipline. What I now want to do is go on and deliver for the public. We were elected on the 2019 manifesto, and I want to go on and deliver that,” she said.

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She told the BBC that she is “sticking around” because she was elected to deliver for the country.

“We are in difficult economic times; we are in different international times with the war being perpetrated in Ukraine. Now is the time to focus on delivering, making sure we are delivering on our energy package,” she said.

On her tax-cutting Growth Plan, delivered by her now-sacked former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and since completely reversed, she explained: “I wanted to act… to help people with their energy bills to deal with the issue of high taxes, but we went too far and too fast. I’ve acknowledged that.” She was speaking at the end of another packed day when the new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, made an emergency fiscal statement to cancel almost all the tax cuts announced in last month’s mini-budget. He insisted that he remains “extremely confident” about the country’s “long-term economic prospects, but growth requires confidence and stability and the UK will always pay its way”.

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It has intensified calls for Truss to be replaced as Tory leader and Prime Minister, with Hunt seen as the de facto chief making all the decisions which bear no resemblance to the so-called “Trussonomics”, or the tax-cutting vision Liz Truss had campaigned on during the leadership contest against former Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

First published on: 18-10-2022 at 10:23 IST
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