London – The new British Prime Minister Liz Trussová faced opposition for the first time today during the traditional Wednesday interpellations in the House of Commons. She received congratulations on her inauguration, but also questions about the planned tax cuts, the energy price crisis and a recording that was leaked to the public a few years ago. On it, the Prime Minister says that British workers must “work harder”.
“Over 7,000 children from households in the Birmingham suburb of Erdington suffer from child poverty, 68 per cent of parents from these households are working. Do you think these people just need to work harder?” Labor MP Paulette Hamilton asked Truss.
“As prime minister, I am determined to deliver a high-wage economy … by cutting taxes and boosting economic growth,” was Truss’ first response as prime minister.
Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer focused his questions on Truss’s economic visions, asking for example whether she was serious when she said she was opposed to a windfall tax.
“The Labor leader calling for tax increases is nothing new. I’m for tax cuts and growing our economy,” Truss said at the end of a several-minute exchange with Starmer. “I’m afraid my colleague doesn’t understand the ambitions… and that people want to keep more of their own money,” the prime minister added.
Already during the summer campaign during the internal party election of the Conservatives, some analysts noted that Trussová is not as proficient in rhetoric compared to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“A lot of people around Starmer feel that she will be easier to beat in the House. That she doesn’t have that sharp wit. But they also have to be careful not to underestimate her,” Ayesha Hazarika, a Scottish journalist and adviser to Labor MPs, told Sky News today.
Truss presided over the first before the interpellations began this morning negotiations the new government, in which she called her political allies, writes the BBC website. On the contrary, former ministers Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps or George Eustice, who supported her opponent in the internal party race Rishi Sunak, are returning to the so-called backbenches of the House of Commons, so they do not hold any government position.
For the first time in history, the four most important government positions – Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of the Interior and Foreign Affairs – will not be occupied by a Caucasian man, the BBC pointed out.
At the end of today’s interpellations, Liberal Democrat MP Helen Morgan asked how Truss would solve the problem of “terrible” waiting times for an ambulance. Truss responded that Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey was already working to correct the problem.
Labour’s shadow attorney-general, Emily Thornberry, who first sat in parliament in 2005, told the BBC that all parties had taken a “cautious approach” to today’s questioning.
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