Markets likely to force Liz Truss into more U-turns, says Priti Patel

Ms Patel has become the latest senior Tory to cause trouble for the PM, urging her party leader to stick to the 2019 manifesto.

13 October 2022

Priti Patel has become the latest senior Tory to cause trouble for Liz Truss, after the former home secretary urged her party leader to stick to the 2019 manifesto.

The ex-Cabinet minister also suggested that the Prime Minister and her Chancellor will likely be forced by the markets into a further embarrassing U-turn on the mini-budget, amid speculation in Westminster that another reversal is imminent.

Ms Patel, who did not publicly back any candidate in the summer-long contest to replace Boris Johnson, told Sky News’ Beth Rigby Interviews programme that it was “vital” for Ms Truss to stick to the 2019 manifesto.

Cabinet meeting
Liz Truss and Priti Patel (John Stillwell/PA)

Last month’s tax-cutting mini-budget and the reversal of the ban on fracking have raised questions about how much stock can now be placed in the 2019 manifesto that swept Mr Johnson to a majority.

Nadine Dorries, another former Cabinet minister, had also been among those suggesting Ms Truss may need to seek a new mandate if she diverted too far from the 2019 manifesto.

Ms Patel, asked if Ms Truss should stick with those commitments from three years ago, said the Government was elected on that basis.

She added: “It is vital and it’s imperative that we continue to deliver on that.”

Ms Patel also added her voice to calls on the Government to ensure that the delayed Online Safety Bill passes into law.

In the same interview, she also suggested the Government could be forced into a further U-turn over the mini-budget.

Asked if Ms Truss’s commitment not to raise corporation tax should be reversed to calm the markets, she said: “There is an irony to this.

“In that market forces will probably dictate some of these changes now.

“The market is going to dictate this, primarily because we want to see stability. Stability is absolutely crucial, for everyone to carry on living their lives, for the institutions to function, but actually for the British people to have the stability that they need in their lives as well.

“And by that, as well, I mean mortgages, interest rates and all those crucial, crucial levers.”

She described the situation over the summer as “chaotic” as Ms Truss slugged it with Rishi Sunak, but insisted that the party needs to “come together”.

She said: “We do have to come together. We’ve got a clear vision and a clear mandate for the country. It’s important that we rally behind that and just start delivering it.”

Ms Patel also spoke about her own time as a politician in the interview, citing her personal experience of harassment.

She said: “I’ve had consistent levels of, I think, harassment and abuse. So harassment is just intimidation, unkind things that obviously are said to me.

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