Truss 'almost immediately' regretted calling for abolition of monarchy

Truss 'almost immediately' regretted calling for abolition of monarchy

July 21, 2022

Liz Truss says she ‘almost immediately’ regretted calling for the monarchy to be abolished aged 19 at Liberal Democrat conference and calls her comments a ‘mistake’

  • Liz Truss said it was a mistake to advocate for the abolition of the Monarchy 
  • She said she regretted remarks  as soon as she said them when she was 19
  • Truss told Lib Dem crowd to applause about people who wanted end of Royals
  • The Foreign Secretary, now 46, said ‘part of UK’s success’ is the Monarchy

Liz Truss has called a speech she gave advocating for the abolition of the Monarchy a ‘mistake’ after a clip resurfaced of her at the Lib Dem conference in 1994. 

The Conservative leadership candidate told reporters in Peterborough today that she regretted the remarks which took aim at the Royal Family ‘almost immediately’ after she made them when she was 19. 

In a clip released yesterday, Miss Truss was recorded speaking about how she surveyed a ‘reactionary-looking’ trio of voters who told her that they had had ‘enough’ of the Royal Family. 

The Foreign Secretary, now 46, who used to be the leader of Oxford University’s Liberal Democrats has recently said she now understands that the Queen and the rest of the Royals are ‘key’ to the success of the UK. 

She became a Conservative in 1996, and today Miss Truss lengthened her lead over Rishi Sunak in the race to become the new Tory leader and the Prime Minster after Boris Johnson stepped down. 

Miss Truss was seen speaking about how she surveyed a ‘reactionary-looking’ trio of voters who told her that they had had ‘enough’ of the Royal Family

A 19-year-old Liz Truss was applauded by the Lib Dem conference in 1994 when she advocated abolishing the Monarchy

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrives at a hustings event, part of the Conservative party leadership campaign, today as she extends her poll lead over Rishi Sunak 

In the clip shared by Newsnight yesterday evening, Miss Truss told the conference: ‘We Liberal Democrats believe in opportunity for all. 

‘I was being interviewed by Newsnight earlier this afternoon and we were filmed asking members of the public what they thought about the Monarchy. 

‘We came across a group of three people. I’d say they were around 50, 60 [years of age]. [They] looked fairly middle class, rather smart and in fact rather reactionary to be perfectly frank. 

‘We asked them they’re opinion of the Monarch, do you know what they said? They said: ‘Abolish them. We’ve had enough’.’

She also went on to say during the same speech that she agreed with former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on the Monarchy. 

‘I agree with Paddy Ashdown when he said: ‘Everybody in Britain should have the chance to be a somebody,’ she said in Brighton. 

‘But only one family can provide the head of the state. We Liberal Democrats believe in opportunity for all. We do not believe people are born to rule.

‘We believe in referenda on major constitutional issues; we do not believe people should be born to rule, or that they should put up and shut up about decisions which affect their everyday lives.’

Asked when she realised she did not want to scrap the monarchy, she told reporters in Peterborough today: ‘Almost immediately after I’d made that speech.

‘I was a teenager at the time and I do believe that people who never change their mind on anything and think the same at 16 as they do at 46 are, well, first of all they’re not normal people like I am, and secondly, you know,

‘I’ve got the ability to learn from mistakes I’ve made, things that I’ve done that are wrong and move on.’

Favourite: Liz Truss, pictured in the House of Parliament after she saw off Penny Mordaunt to make the final two in the Tory leadership contest 

When she was quizzed by the BBC’s Nick Robinson on her former wish to abolish the Monarchy, she said: ‘I think it’s fair to say that when I was in my youth I was a professional controversialist and I liked exploring ideas and stirring things up.

‘And I came from a left-wing background as I said my mother was in the campaign for nuclear disarmament.

‘There are very few people at my school or who I met on a regular basis in fact, I could count them on one hand who you’d describe as right-wing.

‘So I thought at the time, this is a totally different way of life, it doesn’t represent the type of society I want to live in.

‘And I began to understand more about why Britain is successful and part of our success is the constitutional monarchy that supports a free democracy.’ 

Today in the Daily Mail she vowed to beat Labour by ‘governing as a true tax-cutting, freedom-loving Conservative’. 

The Foreign Secretary last night surged into the final run-off against Rishi Sunak in the race to become prime minister, knocking out rival Penny Mordaunt on Tuesday. 

She said: ‘I entered politics to stop this ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ and bring equality of opportunity for all. My approach is rooted firmly in Conservative values of aspiration, enterprise and freedom, which I know are shared across the country.’ 

The Foreign Secretary was also the choice of 62 per cent of the Tory membership polled by YouGov for Sky News tonight, against 38 per cent for the ex-chancellor.

The results mean she has lengthened her lead over her former colleague by four points after making a raft of populist tax cut promises.

The poll was carried out after they became the final two candidates in the leadership election, due to end at the start of September. 

Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership candidate, Liz Truss speaks to the press during a visit to the children’s charity, Little Miracles in Peterborough

Ms Truss wants allow households to share their personal tax allowances would build on the existing tax break for married couples, first promised by David Cameron in 2005.

At present, one member of a married couple who earns under the £12,570 income tax threshold can transfer £1,270 of their allowance to their spouse, reducing their tax bill by up to £252 a year.

The eligibility could be extended to all cohabiting couples, and the size of the tax break dramatically increased.

No final decisions have been made on what proportion of their personal allowance would be transferable, and the policy has not been costed yet.

However, it is thought officials will consider allowing people to transfer their full £12,570 personal allowance to a partner.

That would be worth up to £2,514 a year per couple.

Stay-at-home parents or those who work part time would be among the main winners.

Ms Truss said: ‘Hardworking families are the bedrock of a stable society, and one of my top priorities as Prime Minister would be easing the tax burden on families. They don’t just look after themselves but also build communities, charities and even businesses.

‘I want to make sure that our tax system works for them. We will review the taxation of families to ensure people aren’t penalised for taking time out to care for their children or elderly relatives.’

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