Express & Star

Mr Dull has been sent on mission impossible

Unexciting. Remainer. Sensible. All of these words describe the de facto Prime Minister, Jeremy Hunt.

Who’s in charge? Liz Truss with her new Chancellor

He is an unideological man who’s been parachuted into Number 11 Downing Street after his political career seemed to be at an end. Mr Hunt finished eighth out of eight in the Tory leadership campaign.

He was a supporter of Austerity I and is behind Austerity II – The Comeback.

The reason for his resurrection is to stave off the exit of his would-be boss, the hapless Liz Truss, who has shown a characteristic lack of empathy, intuition and smarts during a disastrous start to her leadership.

Crashing the economy, sabotaging the career of her closest political ally and being greeted by the nation’s King with a wry ‘Dear oh dear’, Truss is already yesterday’s woman.

Unexciting, a Remainer, and sensible, are, of course, also words that describe the nation’s would-be future Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, who, having seen off Boris Johnson, is also eyeing the end of Ms Truss.

His party is ahead by between 20-30 points in the polls. It’s still all to play for, of course. Theresa May enjoyed a lead of 23-points before the 2017 election, only to see it wiped out. And people are mostly switching to Labour because the Tories are so rudderless and dysfunctional, rather than Labour’s virtuosity.

Politics is a mess. The ham-fisted, ill-conceived, poorly-executed mini budget of Kwasi Kwarteng, one of four Chancellors in 101 days, revealed more about Truss than it did about the man who proposed it. A free market libertarian in an era when free market liberatianism is as welcome as a fox in the henhouse, Truss’s fingerprints are all over the chaos of recent weeks.

Unloved, unadmired and unelectable, she’s already signed her own P45 – over a 45p tax cut. It’s a question of when she goes, not if. Her dismissal of her ‘friend’, Kwasi, also showed an unsavoury side.

The man she threw under the bus was the man who introduced the policies that had got her elected – and which are now consigned to the annuls of books on how not to do politics, economics or win votes.

Number 10 used to be a place of relative stability. Margaret Thatcher was there for 11 years and John Major for seven.

Tony Blair remained in post for 10 years and Gordon Brown three, before being undone by an election, rather than his own party.

David Cameron enjoyed a six-year tenure – before offering a vote on Europe. That ended his Premiership and also did for Theresa May, after just three years. Boris Johnson also departed after three years. Liz Truss has been in office since September 6. William Hill is offering odds of 4/11 on that she won’t be there by January 1.

The odds of her being in charge at the General Election in 2024 are 16-1. In the eyes of the bookies, she’s as reliable as a three-legged pony lining up in the Grand National.

Pension holders are nervous about what the future holds.

There’s a Tory mortgage premium on the cards for years to come, with mortgages up by hundreds of pounds a month.

The lack of confidence and stability in the markets has come from the present Government.

And that’s before we look at the problems that existed before Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng crashed the economy.

Once our economy looked like France and Germany. Now it looks like Italy or Greece.

Boris Johnson didn’t exactly enhance Britain’s reputation, undermining the nation’s credibility by breaking the laws he set.

Liz Truss has rubbished the Conservative Party’s reputation for being credible economists able to manage the nation’s finances.

Given that her flagship policy is dead in the water, that she was third among Tory MPs and that she will be unable to implement any of her economic policies; we ought to ask this – what is the point of Liz Truss?

The Tory psychodrama will play itself out over the coming days and weeks as MPs decide whether to install Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Ben Wallace, or Penny Mordaunt, or whether they’re the turkeys who vote for Christmas by letting Truss stay in power.