Liz Truss as PM was ‘catastrophic’ and she shouldn’t come back as Tory leader, says William Hague

William Hague flatly rejected the idea of Liz Truss returning as Tory leader after she left open the possibility of an attempted comeback.

The former Conservative leader tore into her brief premiership as “particularly catastrophic”, with her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s “mini-Budget” which sparked economic meltdown in Britain.

He also voiced “surprise” that she was not more humble about the “disaster” of her time in No10.

He also argued that it must take “very strong mental effort” to blame other people for what went wrong rather than take more personal responsibility.

Lord Hague, a former Foreign Secretary, made the comments after Ms Truss refused to rule out running for leader of the Conservative Party again.

The Tory former Prime Minister claimed she had “unfinished business” at the top of politics, as she toured the media ahead of the publication of her book, Ten Years To Save The West.

Ms Truss insisted she had not written her book “to run a leadership campaign”, but wanted to build support for her political ideas.

But pressed if she would rule out standing for the Tory leadership in future, she said: “Well, it’s never wise to rule anything out in politics, is it?”

Liz Truss has not ruled out a bid to be Tory leader again (Getty Images)
Liz Truss has not ruled out a bid to be Tory leader again (Getty Images)

Elsewhere, Ms Truss signalled she was supportive of Donald Trump returning to the White House, called for the abolition of the Supreme Court, pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights, and admitted the Office for Budget Responsibility was high on her hitlist.

Asked about a possible Truss comeback, Lord Hague told Times Radio: “I’m not in general in favour of former leaders having another go at being the leader, having experienced being the leader of the party myself and I certainly never want another go.

“It’s definitely not a good idea to have another go if it was a particularly catastrophic episode when you were the leader.

“So I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

He explained further: “It was a disaster, that 49 days of Liz Truss’ premiership and the responsibility for that mainly lies with her for that.

“Of course, people will and should always listen to former Prime Ministers.”

But he also stressed: “It’s a different kind of Conservatism that you have heard her speaking about than my kind of Conservatism because I think at the heart of Conservatism is support for strong institutions and rule of law and for when we change things changing them carefully and with plenty of thought in advance.

“As in all political parties, and it’s often happened in the Labour Party, there is a debate about its future orientation.

Lord Hague (PA Archive)
Lord Hague (PA Archive)

“She has shown that she is going to be part of that debate, I will happily take the other side of the debate.”

Asked about his views on whether she should have been more humble given the chaos of her premiership, Lord Hague said: ““I’m a bit surprised.

“It takes quite an effort to go through what she went through without thinking that there might be something that you did wrong yourself.

“It’s really a very strong mental effort you must have to make to do that.”

Ms Truss has admitted making mistakes and that she did not do everything “perfectly”.