Liz Truss has re-emerged in the wake of the financial crisis that has gripped Britain - and it didn't go well.

The Prime Minister appeared on various BBC local radio stations, in her first public comments since Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget.

The response to the government's economic policy, which involves tax cuts funded by borrowing, was received poorly by financial markets, with the pound crashing to a historic low against the dollar.

The Bank of England was forced to spend £65bn buying up government bonds due to a "material risk to UK financial stability" and a threat to pensions.

Its former governor, Mark Carney, said on Thursday morning that Downing Street had "undercut" the nation's financial institutions.

Truss faced a round of interviews with radio stations across the country, and while she tried to put the focus on the war in Ukraine and her package on energy bills, the Prime Minister faced a serious grilling.

Here are some of the standout moments.

Read more: Liz Truss defends moves which led to economic turmoil for the UK

Cutting taxes for the rich

John Acres of BBC Radio Stoke asked the Prime Minister how she could justify cutting the taxes of the highest earners while people are struggling in a cost of living crisis.

JA: “How will easing the tax burden for people earning hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds help people in Stoke-on-Trent who are wondering whether to have a hot meal on a night or put the heating on?”

LT: “First of all we’ve taken decisive action to help people with their energy bills, and we’re reducing taxes across the board.

“We’ve had a 70 year high in terms of the amount of tax the government was taking from people and business and my concern was that was stopping economic growth, and ultimately what economic growth is about is more investment in places like Stoke.

“It’s about companies investing, creating those new jobs and getting those wages.”

HeraldScotland: Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi KwartengPrime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng (Image: Newsquest)

JA: “The average salary in Stoke-on-Trent is £25,000 – under your tax cuts the lowest income households will save £22.12, the richest households will gain almost an extra £10,000 – how is that fair?”

LT: “I want the average salary in Stoke to go up, my policies are all about making sure average salaries go up and we have a growing and productive economy.

“You don’t get a growing and productive economy by putting taxes up, often you get more revenue with lower taxes because it attracts more growth, it attracts more people into work, it attracts more investment.

“Too often tax policy has been seen as just about distribution: it’s not, it’s also about how we grow the size of the pie so every can benefit.”

JA: “By borrowing more and putting our mortgages up?”

*Long pause*

LT: “We need to borrow more this winter for the energy crisis that we’re facing.”

JA: “We’re going to end up paying more in mortgage fees, under what you’ve done, than we would have saved with energy.”

*Long pause*

LT: “I don’t think anyone is arguing that we shouldn’t have acted on energy, which is what the majority of the package that we’ve done is all about. I think it would have been appalling if people were facing energy bills of up to £6,000. Interest rates are a matter for the Bank of England, interest rates are rising across the world and we made a conscious decision as a country in 1997 that politicians shouldn’t be involved in setting interest rates.”

Liz Truss' silence since the crash of the pound

On BBC Radio Leeds, Rina Ahmed had a simple question for the PM.

RA: “I am really glad that you are here, because since Friday, since your Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget the pound has dropped to a record low, the IMF has said you should re-evaluate your policies, and the bank of England has had to spent £65bn to prop up the markets because of what they describe as a material risk. Where’ve you been?”

*long pause*

LT: “I... we have to remember the situation we were facing this winter. We were facing a situation where people would have had to pay energy bills up to £6,000, where inflation was increasing and we were facing an economic slowdown which would have had a huge effect right across the country, including in places like Leeds.

“That’s why we took action to make sure people aren’t paying a typical fuel bill of more than £2,500, that’ll come in on Saturday…”

HeraldScotland: Prime Minister Liz TrussPrime Minister Liz Truss (Image: Newsquest)

RA: “That was before the mini-budget, Prime Minister. I’m talking about the last four days: where have you been? We haven’t heard from you for the last four days.”

LT: “Well I’m here today on Radio Leeds talking to you.”

RA: “Brilliant, I’m so glad you are.”

LT: “The point I’m making is that we had to take decisive action to help people through this winter and next winter, and we had to take urgent action to get our economy going, get Britain moving and cope with inflation. And, of course, that means taking controversial and difficult decisions.”

No regrets?

Truss and Kwarteng have so far stood by their budget despite the reaction from the markets, and Anna Cookson of BBC Radio Kent put a very pointed question to the PM.

AC: “Listener Lydia says, ‘are you ashamed of what you’ve done?’ Are you?”

LT: “I think we have to remember what situation this country was facing, we were going into the winter with people expected to face bills of up to £6,000, huge rates of inflation…”

AC: “And you’ve made it worse…”

Scripted answers

Truss frequently made reference to "the situation we were facing this winter" in bringing up her energy bills package, as well as pointing to "Vladimir Putin's appalling war in Ukraine" as a reason for global instability.

On BBC Radio Bristol though, James Hanson pushed back.

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

LT: “We have a very, very difficult economic global situation because of the war that Vladimir Putin perpetrated in Ukraine and countries are under pressure around the world…”

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

LT: “This is about Putin and the war in Ukraine, that is why…”

JH: “So thank Bank of England’s intervention yesterday was because of Vladimir Putin, was it?”

LT: “What I was saying is it’s very difficult and stormy times in the international markets and, of course, the Bank of England is independent, it takes the actions it needs to take and it’s responsible for interest rates and it’s responsible for stability.”


Hanson also asked Truss about pensions, following the intervention by the central bank - and she wouldn't offer any guarantees.

JH: “Can you guarantee to my listeners this morning that their pensions are safe?”

LT: “Well, the Bank of England does a very, very good job of delivering financial stability.”

JH: “That’s not an answer, Prime Minister, can you guarantee people’s pensions are safe?”

LT: “I… well… the Bank of England do that and they do a very good job of it.”


On BBC Radio Lancashire, the issue of fracking was put to the Prime Minister.

She and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Jacob Rees-Mogg have insisted that new projects would only take place with local consent - Graham Liver tried to pin her down on the details.

GL: “I want to talk about fracking. We’re the only area of the country that has actually done it, and it caused earthquakes – people’s houses shook. Why do you think it’s safe to continue? Because none of the science has changed.”

LT: “What I want to be clear about is we’ll only press ahead with fracking in areas where there is local community support for that and the Business Secretary has been very clear about that. Fracking is carried out perfectly safely in various parts of the world and the business secretary will make sure that any fracking that takes place is safe.

“It’s very important for me, as Prime Minister, that any fracking has local community consent but I think we have to be clear why we’re doing this. The UK has become dependent on global energy prices and we’ve seen through Vladimir Putin’s appalling war in Ukraine how energy prices have shot up and Russia has used the fact it produces gas as a way of exerting pressure on other countries.

“We simply don’t want to be in that position so what I want to see is homegrown energy in the UK, and that means using resources in the North Sea, it means renewables, it means more nuclear and it also means fracking in areas where there is local support.”

GL: “You mentioned Jacob Rees-Mogg. In the House of Commons he called people who didn’t support fracking ‘luddites’ and said there was an air of hysteria about them. Do you agree with his comments?”

LT: “I wouldn’t have expressed it like that, I can assure you. I am of the view that we need to have local consent to proceed with projects like fracking, I also support that for housing. That’s why we’re setting up new investment zones across the country, with local support, to get investment into our country and this is true for energy as well.”

GL: “Let’s talk about local consent: what does that look like? Scott Benton, the Conservative MP for Blackpool South, in a Tweet says he believes people in Blackpool South don’t support fracking. This is the Conservative MP for Fylde, in the House of Commons:”

*Clip plays of Fylde asking how local consent will be demonstrated*

GL: “What does local consent look like, Prime Minister?”

LT: “Well… I… 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… for going ahead and I can assure you…”

GL: “It sounds like you don’t know?”

LT: “And I can assure, and I can assure Mark Menzies… well, there are various detailed issues to be worked through but I can assure Mark Menzies we will make sure there is local consent if we’re to go ahead with fracking.”

GL: “But your local MPs don’t want it, all Conservative, in the past the county council have said they didn’t want it but your government overturned it, the science hasn’t changed: why can’t you tell us this morning there won’t be a return to fracking in Lancashire?”

LT: “Well I don’t… I don’t accept the premise of your question.”

GL: “Why?”

LT: “Well… because… what I have said is that if there is local consent we will go ahead, we need to explore where there is local consent and where there isn’t and we’re doing that work. I don’t think we should rule out the whole of Lancashire.”

GL: “You talked about how it’s a success in other countries, but in America they do it in the middle of nowhere – do you actually know where Preston New Road is where they have been fracking.”

*long pause*

LT: “Well I don’t… I don’t… I don’t think I’ve been to that site in the past.”

GL: “Shouldn’t you?”

LT: “Well… as I’ve said we will only go ahead with project where there is local consent, I’m very very clear about that. We’ll make sure that local consent is in place, and if there is concern about a particular site those will be taken into account.”


Reaction to the interviews was swift with Labour deputy Angela Rayner quipping: "Liz Truss has finally broken her long painful silence with a series of short painful silences."

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "Liz Truss has shown she is reckless, clueless and completely out of touch with people in Scotland - who are increasingly worried about the impact of the disastrous Tory budget on their mortgages, pensions, and household budgets.

"Parliament must be recalled immediately and an emergency statement must be brought forward to reverse the damage of the Tory budget and prevent a catastrophic economic crash.

"If this tin-eared Prime Minister refuses to act - then she should step aside and let someone else do the right thing before millions of people suffer.

"No one will feel reassured after the Prime Minister's car crash radio interviews this morning - and the longer she refuses to act the more damage she will do."