Liz Truss's husband feared her stint as prime minister 'would end in tears', new book reveals

Liz Truss was prime minister for just 49 days (PA Wire)
Liz Truss was prime minister for just 49 days (PA Wire)

Liz Truss has revealed that her husband warned her that any attempt to become prime minister would “all end in tears” before she ran for office.

The admission is in an extract from Ten Years to Save the West, her book which charts her tumultuous 49 days in number 10 in 2022.

Truss announced in October of that year that she would be leaving - thus becoming Britain’s shortest ever serving Prime Minister.

The Guardian reported on Saturday that Truss compares her ill-fated stint to that of Brian Clough, the legendary football manager who lasted 44 days in charge of Leeds United.

Liz Truss after resigning as PM (PA)
Liz Truss after resigning as PM (PA)

Truss recounts that she was in Bali, as foreign secretary, in September 2022 when she heard that Boris Johnson would be stepping down.

She consulted with her husband Hugh O’Leary and decided it was her time to run for the top job despite fears that it would not work out.

She wrote. “Even Hugh, who predicted it would all end in tears, accepted that this was the moment I was expected to run and that if I didn’t, people would say I had bottled it.”

There were further voices of concern from within the Norfolk Tory office where Truss has been MP since 2010.

“[He said] I should run – but he thought it would be best if I came second,” was the backhanded vote of confidence she said she received.

Truss describes in the book how she struggled with the Queen’s death coming just two days after their only meeting.

It is not the first book Truss has been behind, with 2012’s Britannia Unchained penned alongside voices of the Tory right including Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Brian Clough, former Nottingham Forest and Leeds manager (GETTY)
Brian Clough, former Nottingham Forest and Leeds manager (GETTY)

She installed her ally Kwarteng as chancellor upon taking office and his mini budget of 2022 paving the way for economists losing faith in the government.

This speech resulted in a pensions crisis and Kwarteng being replaced by Jeremy Hunt as chancellor. But confidence had been shaken and she left after fewer than 50 days.

Leeds-educated Truss, a football fan, wrote of how her time in office mimicked Clough’s time as the White’s manager - a period dramatised in 2009 film The Damned United.

“In a speech, I made reference to Don Revie, the legendary manager of the 1970s Leeds team that had won the league who then went on to manage England,” she wrote.

“Clough took over from Revie at the club in 1974. As dramatised in the film The Damned United, Clough tried to shake up the team and get them to play better … the players rebelled and Clough was sacked after just 44 days.

“In the final days of my premiership, I had said to my private secretary, Nick Catsaras: ‘If the Conservative party bin me after six weeks and I’m the Brian Clough of prime ministers, then so be it.’ I lasted 49 days.”

Clough went onto great success managing Nottingham Forest and while Kwarteng will be standing down, Truss is set to continue as an MP.

She has written Ten Years to Save the West as a statement of global vision and her manifesto for what the UK needs to prioritise.

Bookies have her at 80/1 to become the next Conservative Party leader with Kemi Badenoch the current favourite.