United Kingdom: Former Prime Minister Liz Truss Launches Her Political Movement “PopCons”

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Since her dismissal, she has regularly urged the government to reduce taxes, reconsider some measures to achieve carbon neutrality, and raise the retirement age. *”A conservative government should not seek to expand the ‘nanny state,'”* she wrote on X website just last week about the UK’s plan to gradually ban tobacco. This further complicates the task for Rishi Sunak, who is already struggling to maintain a balance between the centrists and the right wing of his party. At the first meeting of the “PopCons” in London on Tuesday, Liz Truss particularly attacked Rishi Sunak’s government for failing to tackle *“left-wing extremists.”* Among other figures in the movement, former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg criticized the *“international elite.”* Lee Anderson, former Tory vice president who recently resigned from his position due to a disagreement on migration policy, believes that the British are not very interested in achieving carbon neutrality, the UK’s official climate ambition.

However, as the general election approaches, they do not call for Rishi Sunak, the fifth Conservative leader since the Brexit vote in 2016, to be removed from the party leadership. The former prime minister is also very poorly viewed by the British, who partly hold her responsible for the cost-of-living crisis the country is going through. A survey conducted by the polling institute Savanta in January gave her a net popularity rating of -54, the worst of all the political personalities surveyed. *“What’s interesting about her is that most unpopular politicians have some ability to bounce back once they’ve left office (…) but that’s not the case with Liz Truss,”* notes Chris Hopkins, director of political research at the institute.

David Jeffery, a specialist professor of British politics at the University of Liverpool, doubts that Liz Truss *“is deluding herself to the point of believing that she has another chance to access”* 10 Downing Street. He believes that her goal is to influence the future direction of the Conservative Party, while trying to restore her own reputation: *“this is certainly about shaping (the party) and then perhaps getting a decent post”* once the Tories return to the opposition. A source close to Liz Truss confirms that she has *“firm ideas about the future direction of the party and the country”,* and that she would initially seek reelection as a member of parliament in the next elections. Original text in French.

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