Boris Johnson and Liz Truss should admit blame for ‘chaos’, says ex-Tory leader

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss should stop blaming others for their failures and take responsibility for helping sow “chaos”, former Tory leader William Hague has said.

In a scathing attack on the ex-prime ministers – both booted out of No 10 by their own party last year – Mr Hague suggested that they were scapegoating after “completely screwing things up”.

The former Tory leader condemned “false narratives of conspiracies and misrepresenting failure as victimhood” from leaders who blame the establishment for their mistakes.

“If you became prime minister, with a majority behind you and a decent term in front of you, but were overthrown amid chaos, there is indeed someone to blame. It’s you,” he wrote in The Times.

Mr Johnson has showed few signs of contrition since he was removed from power in the summer, blaming the Tory “herd” for moving against him.

Ms Truss has also offered no apology for the economic turmoil of the autumn – blamed the disruption on the left-wing “economic establishment” and resistance to tax cuts within her own party.

Mr Johnson’s allies are keen to push him for a fresh leadership bid if Rishi Sunak suffers dire local elections in May.

While Ms Truss had denied any ambition to return, her backers are said to believe she had “half a hope” of leading the Tories in opposition after the next election.

Mr Hague said Mr Johnson had “showed no awareness of any personal failings that had led his party to turn on him” having broken Covid rules “that no one had previously thought it necessary to state”.

The former party leader was also dismissive of Ms Truss’s attempts to defend her six-week premiership. “The problem was not the power of a left-wing establishment but the force of good old right-wing arithmetic: there are limits on spending money you haven’t got.”

It come as Ms Truss again blamed officials for the turmoil sparked by her disastrous mini-Budget in an interview with The Spectator – saying no one told her about the risk to pension funds.

The right-winger did, however, concede that her botched plan to ditch the top rate of tax for the richest earners was a “bridge too far”, saying she may have been “trying to fatten the pig on market day”.

Asked if she wanted to be prime minister again, Ms Truss said: “No”, before adding that she “will be supporting” Mr Sunak from the backbenches.

“I definitely want to be part of promoting a pro-growth agenda,” she said. “I definitely want to carry on as an MP. I think we need to start building more of a strong intellectual base. But I’m not desperate to get back into No 10, no.”

It emerged that Ms Truss has a portrait of Che Guevara dressed in Horatio Nelson’s uniform in her office – set to be “an imaginary British revolutionary” as she continues to push her radical low tax agenda.