Liz Truss has taken a “spinal tap approach” to government, demanding the volume be “turned up to 11,” her former editor said.
Asa Bennett said the former prime minister arrived in Downing Street determined to put ‘rocket propellants’ under the economy and it was a matter of ‘bitter regret’ that his efforts had failed.
Truss’ short-lived premiership ended after his mini-budget led to financial chaos, forcing the Bank of England to take emergency action to prevent the collapse of pension funds .
Her resignation follows a tumultuous 45 days in office during which Truss’ mini-budget sent markets crashing, she lost two key ministers and lost the confidence of nearly all of her own MPs.
Prior to his resignation, Truss allowed his then-chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, to carry responsibility for the September mini-budget, despite it being widely seen as a joint project.
Bennett, who made the comments during her appearance on Liz Truss’s Big Gamble, a BBC Radio 4 documentary that takes a close look at her premiership, said her determination to act quickly in what she thought would fix the economy reflected his desire to “push the envelope”, likening his approach to Spinal Tap, the parody band.
Bennett told the BBC: “I think Liz felt that she had already played in her life and then she could play on that again.
“And yes, the stakes would be high, but the payoff would be worth it in the sense of taking that quick action. I think she always liked being the one who was willing to push the envelope and would only back down if there was had a good reason.
“I think Liz was someone who would take that kind of Spinal Tap approach, raise it to 11, and only if necessary, lower it again.”
Bennett added that Truss believed he had the answers to the problems in Britain’s economy, which included £45billion in tax cuts.
‘That’s why she felt it was really time to make the tough decisions and root them out by trying to break away from the kind of consensus, the comfortable consensus that meant Britain had faltered with international competitiveness’ , Bennett added.