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Liz Truss only lasted 49 days as British prime minister but now she has a plan to save the West: Former Conservative leader draws inspiration from MAGA crowd as she tries to reinvent herself


Liz Truss may have lasted just 49 days as British prime minister but she is plotting a new course back to relevance as a darling of the American far right and as the bridge in a transatlantic conservative movement.

She has spent the past two days sharing platforms with the likes of populist rabble rouser and election denier Steve Bannon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor in Maryland.

The event has long been one of the most influential conservative gatherings in the world, and today is a showcase for Donald Trump‘s MAGA movement.

Her colleagues back home could learn something from the full-throated arguments on display, said Truss.

‘I think we need to win the battle of ideas, as conservatives, and we had to do that in the 70s, we had to win the battle of ideas,’ she told DailyMail.com

Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss spoke to DailyMail.com during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor in Maryland

Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss spoke to DailyMail.com during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor in Maryland

She is promoting her new book, 'Ten Years to Save the West,' which is due out in April

She is promoting her new book, ‘Ten Years to Save the West,’ which is due out in April

‘And yes, I do see the conservative movement in America as an inspiration for that. 

‘Now, if you look at what’s been achieved in Texas, by Governor Abbott, that is a example of creating an environment that is less hostile to conservatives.

‘And I believe many people in Britain want to see proper conservative policies enacted, but we are operating in a hostile environment.’

Abbott has fought the Biden administration on immigration, putting up his own razor wire defenses and busing migrants to liberal cities far from the border, taking a tough line on abortion with the Texas Heartbeat Act, and pushing back on COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic.

It is all new territory for Truss, who was once seen as something of a centrist in British politics. She campaigned against Brexit, for example, and used to speak glowingly of how European regulations were good for Britain – the sort of globalist speak treated with suspicion in America’s isolationist right.

She took over as prime minister from Boris Johnson in 2022 but her plans for billions of pounds in tax cuts sent the markets into turmoil, driving up home home mortgage rates and sending sterling into freefall.

Since then she has been a frequent visitor to the U.S. This time she is plugging a book, Ten Years to Save the West, due out in April.

It is a call to arms against the unelected ‘administrative state’ that she believes wrecked her premiership.

‘For too long, the left have essentially run the free world. And they’re running it into the ground,’ she said.

‘We’ve got these protesters on the streets of the United States, the border is completely out of control. Tax rates are higher. Regulation is going up.’

The ex-premier sat alongside former UKIP leader Nigel Farage during a panel on Wednesday

The ex-premier sat alongside former UKIP leader Nigel Farage during a panel on Wednesday

And in an interview with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon after her CPAC address,  Truss said she was willing to work with Farage to change the Tories

And in an interview with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon after her CPAC address,  Truss said she was willing to work with Farage to change the Tories

Farage is a regular at CPAC, but Truss was making her first appearance as she looks to rebuild her reputation and place in the conservative movement after a disastrous stint in Number 10

Farage is a regular at CPAC, but Truss was making her first appearance as she looks to rebuild her reputation and place in the conservative movement after a disastrous stint in Number 10

People write on a Trump themed bus at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Maryland

People write on a Trump themed bus at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Maryland

The danger is that those unseen forces are undermining the West’s position in a global power struggle.

‘I’m a big supporter of the Reagan ‘peace through strength’ doctrine. That’s what we need to see,’ she said.

‘I think the West is in serious danger. China has never been in a more powerful position. They’re now very closely allied with Iran and Russia.’

The evidence is visible in the war in Ukraine and Hamas’s October 7 attacks in Israel. 

Her conclusions, however, might be a harder sell to the American right, which is held in Trump’s isolationist grip.

‘I’m very clear, you know that the whole West needs to support Ukraine because they’re fighting our battle on the frontier of freedom in the same way the whole West needs to support Israel,’ she said. ‘I’ve been very disappointed in the backsliding on that.’

She insists that everyone she has spoken to is intent on supporting Ukraine. Yet she is clearly at odds with Republicans in Congress are blocking a bill that would send $60 billion to keep Ukrainian forces armed and fighting. 

And there are other potential differences with her new audience. She has no truck with 2020 election denialism, saying that Biden won fair and square. 

CPAC has long been regarded as one of the most influential gatherings of conservatives in the world. These days it is part of former President Donald Trump's power base

CPAC has long been regarded as one of the most influential gatherings of conservatives in the world. These days it is part of former President Donald Trump’s power base

The gathering featured a string of possible contenders to be Trump's VP pick, such as Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem

The gathering featured a string of possible contenders to be Trump’s VP pick, such as Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem

‘I believe so. Yes,’ she said.

Her argument overlaps with Trump when it comes to the ‘administrative state’ or the ‘deep state.’

Her mistake at Number 10 Downing Street was not pursuing the wrong policies, she said (cutting taxes, pursuing fracking to bring down energy prices, building houses, stripping out European laws that remain on the books in Britain even after Brexit.) 

Her mistake, she said, was thinking she could get it done in the face of the ‘administrative state.’

‘What I discovered is the huge power that unelected bodies now have in Britain, like the Office of Budget Responsibility, like the Bank of England, I even had the [International Monetary Fund] weighing in on what we were doing,’ she said.

‘The point I’m making in my book, is that it’s not enough just to be in a position of power and have the right policies, if you’ve got a system that is hostile to conservatism, and that is what I fear we have in Britain.’

A January 6 themed pinball machine at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Maryland

A January 6 themed pinball machine at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Maryland

Attendees were criticized for making light of the attack on the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol

Attendees were criticized for making light of the attack on the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol

Returning a Republican to the White House is one part of that, she said. 

‘I think this year is a critical year in global politics,’ she said. ‘And I want to see the Republicans win this election. I fear that our enemies will be emboldened if they don’t.’

But the CPAC conference is all a far cry from the British Conservative Party conferences held in genteel seaside resorts. 

One session at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center was entitled ‘cat fight,’ and involved commentators slating former first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris as they weighed the chances that one of them would replace Biden in November’s vote.

The exhibitors’ hall featured a Jan. 6 pinball game, triggering accusations that attendees were making light of the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

And a giant advert for Truss’ new book rubbed shoulders with one for a biography of former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whose recent interview with Vladimir Putin was so soft that even the Russian president mocked him for it.

None of that fazed Truss. Although she admitted she was a little startled by some of the outfits on display.

‘There’s fewer people in Second Amendment dresses at the Conservative Party conference or wearing Statue of Liberty outfits,’ she said. ‘There’s definitely a lot more dressing up here.’



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