Liz Truss smiles and waves after being declared the winner of the Tory leadership contest last month. (Photo: DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images)
Voters have delivered a withering verdict on Liz Truss just a month after she became prime minister.
A focus group run by pollster James Johnson showed the Tory leader faces an uphill task in convincing voters she is up to the job.
The discussion, which was commissioned by Times Radio, comes after a chaotic few weeks for the government.
Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget triggered a fall in the value of the pound and increased mortgage rates as the City rejected his plans for £45 billion of unfunded tax cuts.
A rebellion by Tory MPs then forced the chancellor to abandon plans to scrap the 45p tax rate paid by the highest earners.
One woman told the focus group: “I didn’t particularly know who [Truss] was before she came into power to be honest. What she’s done so far is she’s waded in, seems unqualified for the role and has had to backtrack and I just don’t think there’s any faith in her at all.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say she’s a wannabe Margaret Thatcher without the intelligence.”
Another man said: “I just don’t think she’s up to the job.”
A female voter said: “I just don’t trust Liz Truss. You’ve not shown me anything to trust you. So far, it’s been nothing but a let down.”
Another added: “I feel she’s not ready for the role at the moment. She’s not quite there.”
But one woman, a lifelong Tory voter, said Truss had been dealt a bad hand by her predecessor, Boris Johnson, and should be given a chance.
“I think she’s picking up from a disaster,” she said. “I feel like all the damage was done. The disaster’s been created and then you’ve got someone who’s come in and given it a quick fix. So I think her job’s quite hard before she even starts and I think it’s early days to be criticising her.
“My problem is with the whole Conservative Party.”
She added: “I just think at the moment we’ve been in a tsunami and what can she do? I’ve always voted Conservative but they need to be more in tune and get their head out of their arses.”
Truss’s troubled first month as PM has also seen Labour establish a commanding lead in the opinion polls.
Keir Starmer today put his party on an “election footing” as he warned the government could fall “at any time”.
The spokesman said: “The prime minister is committed to the growth measures set out by the chancellor.
“The prime minister remains confident that the measures set out will deliver growth for the UK economy. What that means is more money coming in for the government to spend on the public’s priorities - things like the NHS and putting an end to the longstanding position of a broadly stagnating economy.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.