London: British former prime minister Liz Truss on Thursday conceded to “mistakes” over her disastrous short-lived tenure last year — but blamed the economic “establishment” for torpedoing her policies.
The ex-Conservative leader issued guarded regrets in her first broadcast TV interview since she was ousted in October after just 49 days.
“Whilst I did what I could to deliver my policies, I also recognise I made mistakes as well,” Truss told a sympathetic audience during a live question-and-answer session on the right-wing channel GB News.
“And I wasn’t as ready as I should have been. And I wasn’t prepared for some of the onslaught and brickbats that I got,” she added.
Financial markets tanked, driving borrowing costs higher for millions of Britons already struggling with soaring prices, when Truss unveiled a package of unfunded tax cuts in a bid to kick-start economic growth.
Forced to fire her finance minister, Truss was then told by Conservative grandees that she herself could not survive in 10 Downing Street following the ouster of Boris Johnson, and was replaced by Rishi Sunak.
“I didn’t want to see people’s mortgages go up. I didn’t want to see people in Britain struggling,” Truss told the audience, while blaming “groupthink around what I call the economic establishment”.
“What I want to see is those Conservative economic policies that give people real hope for the future. So that is what I’m determined to do. I’m determined to fight for those policies.”
Truss backed Johnson after he was given an excoriating rebuke earlier Thursday by a committee of MPs investigating his “Partygate” denials during Covid lockdowns.
“Never, ever, ever write Boris off,” she said, echoing Johnson’s diehard supporters who are fighting the committee’s recommended sanctions after he resigned as a member of parliament.
But Truss denied that she wanted Sunak to fail.
“Let’s be clear — I want the prime minister and the Conservatives to win the next election. I think (opposition Labour leader) Keir Starmer would be an absolute disaster,” she said.