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Liz Truss savaged online after series of car-crash radio interviews

Iy’s not been a great morning for the PM after she repeatedly failed to answer questions in a series of radio interviews.

Never underestimate local radio. After a week of financial disaster, Prime Minister Liz Truss has been trying to defend her mini budget of tax cuts for the rich at a time of economic crisis which led to the pound dropping to its lowest ever value against the dollar. It was not a good morning.

BBC Bristol’s James Hanson felt the need to step in as Truss claimed to have relieved the tax burden on working families (a 1 per cent tax cut for earners under £50,000, 5 per cent cut for those over £150,000) and falsely claimed that no households would pay energy bills over £2,500.

“Prime minister with respect that is the same scripted answer you’ve given to every local BBC radio station this morning. You’ve got the Bank of England stepping in now to try to clean up the mess a government has caused. That has never happened.”

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After an excruciating pause, Truss replies, pinning the blame on the “global economic situation” and Putin’s war in Ukraine, before Hanson interrupts again.

“But this isn’t just about Putin. Your Chancellor on Friday opened up the stable door and spooked the horses so much you could almost see the economy dragged behind them.”

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After another painful pause, Truss again tries and fails to turn the question back to Putin.

Author and journalist Caitlin Moran cut deep on Twitter: “I guess the problem for Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng is that they don’t want to say ‘We didn’t plan all this! We’re scared!’ – but they also don’t want to say ‘We DID plan this. This IS the plan.’

“I would call this situation for them ‘Being absolutely fucked.'”

On BBC Lancashire, Graham Liver questioned whether there was local consent for the government to start fracking in the area again, in the face of local Conservative MPs questioning whether such consent exists.

Liver asked directly: “What does local consent look like prime minister?”

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Again, the pause betrayed Truss.

“Well, I… The, the, the energy secretary will be laying out in more detail exactly what that looks like but it does mean making sure there is local support for going ahead.”

“It sounds like you don’t know,” says Liver.

Questioned further over whether consent exists in the region and whether she should visit the sites to understand the effect of the decision, Truss continues to flounder, able only to stress the desire to obtain local consent in the face of widespread opposition.

That BBC Radio Lancashire interview was so eat-your-own-hands awful that comedian Sooz Kempner made a spoof version parodying the PM.

On BBC Stoke, the PM appeared to be lost for words when host John Acres pointed out that borrowing and raising mortgages may not be the solution the UK is looking for in the cost of living crisis.

Reaction to the interviews online has been savage.

“By choosing to do a round of interviews across local radio stations rather than nationally, Liz Truss has ended up proving her policies are toxic across the whole of the UK. Absolutely genius,” tweeted comedy duo Exploding Heads.

Much like the reaction to Kwarteng’s budget, financial markets showed no faith in her interviews.

“This is a chart of the UK government bond market while Liz Truss has been on air,” tweeted Bloomberg journalist Kitty Donaldson. “Investors are worried by her comments, are selling gilts and the yields rise. Short version: they’re not reassured by her doubling down.”

Comedian James Felton, writing “Liz Truss: hello- Investors: SELL EVERYTHING”.

Writer Rob McGregor compared the Daily Mail commentator Dan Hodges wrote: “Liz Truss currently sounds like a pre-recorded message telling you she’s sorry the Government is out, but please call back later.”

“Having listened to Liz Truss, I would like to apologise for ever having called Theresa May robotic,” quipped Financial Times writer Henry Mance.

“By choosing to do a round of interviews across local radio stations rather than nationally, Liz Truss has ended up proving her policies are toxic across the whole of the UK. Absolutely genius,” tweeted comedy duo Exploding Heads.

“That was a car crash,” wrote political sketch writer John Crace. “Almost as if Truss doesn’t have a clue what she’s done. Hats off to 8 radio presenters.”

“I think it’s fair to say that Truss did not survive her local radio piñata,” wrote campaigner Mike Galsworthy.

So why has it all been such a disaster? Some commentators believe the blame could lie with her new director of communications, Jason Stein. Who previously advised Prince Andrew.

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