Truss ‘should call election if she wants to break away from Johnson policies’

Nadine Dorries, who backed Liz Truss for the Conservative Party leadership, said there was ‘widespread dismay’ about the Prime Minister’s approach.

Nadine Dorries and Liz Truss in 2019
Nadine Dorries and Liz Truss in 2019

Liz Truss should call a general election if she wants to break away from the policies put in place under Boris Johnson, a former Cabinet minister has said.

Nadine Dorries, who backed Ms Truss for the Conservative Party leadership, said there was “widespread dismay” about the Prime Minister’s approach.

The former culture secretary highlighted areas that had been her responsibility which had now been paused – including the sale of Channel 4 and the Online Safety Bill.

She tweeted: “Widespread dismay at the fact that three years of work has effectively been put on hold.

“No one asked for this. C4 sale, online safety, BBC licence fee review, all signed off by Cabinet all ready to go, all stopped.

“If Liz wants a whole new mandate, she must take to the country.”

Ms Dorries was asked by Ms Truss to stay on as culture secretary but chose instead to return to the backbenches when the new Prime Minister took over.

She has been critical of Ms Truss, and on Sunday accused her of throwing Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng “under a bus” by blaming him for the 45p income tax rate row.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg disagreed with Ms Dorries, his fellow Boris Johnson loyalist with whom he came out in support of Ms Truss for the leadership while standing in Downing Street.

He told a Telegraph event at the Conservative conference that he and “wonderful” Ms Dorries used to get on “like a house on fire” around the Cabinet table and agreed on “almost everything”.

But Mr Rees-Mogg added: “I don’t think there’s going to be an immediate election and I don’t think there’s a requirement for one.”

He suggested the current deadline for a general election is January 2025, signifying the possibility of holding off as long as possible before calling a vote.

“There’s nothing like a good winter election is there,” Mr Rees-Mogg added.

But former justice secretary David Gauke told a European Movement fringe event that while “constitutionally it is fine” for Ms Truss to act without a mandate “it’s much, much more difficult”.

He said: “I think what we’ve seen over the last few days and a really strong rebellion, and more and more MPs coming out and saying ‘no, we can’t support this’, demonstrates that she does have to govern consistently with the principles and values of that 2019 mandate rather than something different.”

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