Who's in the 'deep state'? Rishi Sunak says ask Liz Truss

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak (Jamie Lorriman)
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak (Jamie Lorriman)

Rishi Sunak on Tuesday took a good-humoured dig at Liz Truss after his short-lived predecessor claimed that the “deep state” had torpedoed her radical economic plans.

During a grilling by the Commons Liaison Committee, Mr Sunak hailed the “superb” work done by the Civil Service for him both as Prime Minister and as Chancellor before that.

He was pressed about Ms Truss’s claims to far-right US audiences that her efforts to cut taxes were “sabotaged” by the so-called deep state.

Asked by senior Conservative backbencher William Wragg if the deep state exists and who is in it, a laughing Mr Sunak said: “It’s probably a question for her.

“I probably wouldn't tell you if I was though, would I?” he added. “We wouldn't tell anyone else either, would we?”

Ms Truss has struggled to explain what she means by the deep state, and the reality is that financial markets forced her into an abrupt U-turn before a Conservative revolt forced her out of No10 after just 49 days.

The former PM has been attempting a political comeback, touring the US to promote her ideas about limited government and free markets. She aired her conspiracy theories about the “deep state” at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, where Donald Trump was the keynote speaker.

Ms Truss is due to release a book in mid-April titled Ten Years to Save The West for which she has received an initial advance from Biteback Publishing of £1,512.88.

She writes: “I want others to heed the warnings of what I saw happening and learn the lessons of the battle I lost.”