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Civil Service full of trans activists sabotaged my leadership, Liz Truss tells Republicans

Liz Truss and Nigel Farage
Liz Truss speaks alongside Nigel Farage at the Conservative Political Action Conference - Jose Luis Magana/AP

Liz Truss blamed the “administrative state” for sabotaging her premiership as she appeared at a major US political conference which will be headlined by Donald Trump.

The former prime minister said she faced a “huge establishment backlash” during her short tenure, particularly “from the state itself”. Ms Truss singled out the Civil Service, claiming “trans activists” and “environmental extremists” were filling its ranks.

She flew to the Washington suburbs to speak alongside Mr Trump, Nigel Farage and prominent elected Republicans at an annual jamboree of grassroots conservatives.

She joined Mr Farage and Steve Bannon, Mr Trump’s former chief White House strategist, on a panel on Wednesday to mark the opening night of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Liz Truss in Washington
Liz Truss says she she faced a 'huge establishment backlash' when she was prime minister - Dermot Tatlow

The four-day event features a host of Trump allies who have railed against what they term the “deep state” - career government staffers whom they suspect of attempting to thwart their agenda. Mr Bannon predicted that a second term for Mr Trump would herald “a war to the knife” with whole swathes of Washington’s federal government.

However, the conservative firebrand said Mr Trump’s allies were better prepared this time around and had already identified 3,000 potential political appointees who would be ready to step into government roles “immediately”.

Ms Truss picked up on the theme in her own remarks at the panel event on Wednesday night, arguing that in Britain, it was quangos that “run everything”.

The former prime minister was forced to explain the term “a quasi non-governmental organisation” meant to the room of bemused Americans.

She said: “In America you call it the administrative state or the deep state, well, we have more than 500 of these quangos in Britain, and they run everything.

“We’ve got the Environment Agency, we’ve got the Office of Budget Responsibility, we’ve got the Bank of England, we’ve got the Judicial Appointments Commission.” She went on to say “we have a major problem with our administrative bureaucracy”, adding: “and I think it’s got a lot worse”.

“Now people are joining the Civil Service who are essentially activists, they might be trans activists, they might be environmental extremists, but they are now having a voice within the Civil Service in a way I don’t think was true 30 or 40 years ago, so we just have a wholly new problem,” she said.

Ahead of her arrival in the US, Ms Truss penned an op-ed for Fox News in which she also took a swipe at Joe Biden, warning that American values were “being undermined” by Left-wing ideas propagated “in the Biden White House”. Ms Truss was hailed as a new “Margaret Thatcher” by CPAC panel moderator KT McFarland, Mr Trump’s former deputy national security adviser.

However, the most enthusiastic welcome was for the figure to Ms Truss’ left - Mr Farage - singled out for acknowledgement by Ms Farland as the “champion of Brexit”.

Nigel Farage
Mr Farage was called the 'champion of Brexit' - Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

The former Brexit Party leader told the audience that he was “very hopeful” that Americans would “see sense” and return Mr Trump to office in November’s presidential election.

Mr Trump is the keynote speaker at CPAC, the largest annual gathering of conservative activists in the US.

The former president and Republican 2024 candidate will address the conference on Saturday afternoon, the same day he faces rival Nikki Haley in the South Carolina GOP primary.

Ms Truss will speak to the audience of Republicans on Thursday. Mr Farage will address the party faithful on Friday.