LIZ Truss has denied modelling herself on Margaret Thatcher in a bid to win the Tory leadership contest.

The Foreign Secretary, who has repeatedly posed for official pictures mirroring those of the former PM, claimed the comparison was “frustrating”.

Ms Truss donned military gear and perched in a tank for pictures during a visit to Estonia, echoing a famous image of Mrs Thatcher in a tank in West Germany in 1986.

More recently, she appeared in the first televised leadership debate wearing a pussy-bow blouse, a staple of Mrs Thatcher’s wardrobe.

However in her first interviews since it was confirmed she would face former Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the run–off for the leadership, Ms Truss suggested it was coincidental.

She told BBC Radio 4: “I am my own person. I’m from a very different background. I grew up in Yorkshire.

"I went to a comprehensive school. I am somebody who has worked all my life to get things done. And that’s what I want to do in the job.”

She later told GB News: “It is quite frustrating that female politicians always get compared to Margaret Thatcher, whereas male politicians don’t get compared to [Tory PM] Ted Heath.

“I think we need to equalise the scales,” she joked.

Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and died in 2013 aged 87 after suffering a stroke at the Ritz Hotel.

Her spirit has also been invoked in the leadership contest by Mr Sunak, who has warned Ms Truss’s plans to borrow to cut tax go against the economic restraint of Thatcherism.

Ms Truss has said she wants to cut taxes by around £35billion if chosen by Tory members, insisting it would lower rather than increase inflation.

The tax issue is central to her campaign, as it is seen as Mr Sunak’s greatest weakness.

While Chancellor, he raised the overall tax burden to its highest for 70 years, arguing it was necessary to deal with the Covid pandemic and the recovery, especially in health and care. 

He has said he will only cut taxes after inflation is brought under control, and warned Ms Truss’s plan would only fuel inflation, which is at a 40-year high of 9.4 per cent.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph today, Mr Sunak said: My values are Thatcherite. I believe in hard work, family and integrity.

“I am a Thatcherite, I am running as a Thatcherite and I will govern as a Thatcherite.”