Liz Truss considered sacking Bank of England leaders

Liz Truss has been writing about her time as PM in her new book
Liz Truss has been writing about her time as PM in her new book - Getty/Leon Neal

Liz Truss considered sacking the leaders of the Bank of England and the Treasury and abolishing the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) during her tenure as prime minister.

The former prime minister said the plan to take on “this three-headed hydra” would have been a “declaration of war on the economic establishment”.

In an extract from her new book, Ten Years to Save the West, serialised by the Daily Mail, Ms Truss wrote that the three organisations had “presided over the drift of economic policy in Britain for 30 years” and were “barriers to our plans”.

“We just had to work out how we were going to approach this three-headed hydra,” she wrote.

“One option was to go in very hard, abolish the OBR – whose financial forecasts, I pointed out, are always wrong – and appoint new senior leaders in the Bank of England and Treasury who were prepared to challenge the status quo.

“But this would have amounted to a declaration of war on the economic establishment. It would also have taken time we didn’t have.”

Ms Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were forced to go no further than sacking Tom Scholar, permanent secretary to the Treasury.

Liz Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng
Liz Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng - PA/Stefan Rousseau

But even that, she writes, triggered “wider fallout about being seen to take on the establishment” which she and Mr Kwarteng had “underestimated”.

Ms Truss goes on to defend her ill-fated mini-budget, writing that it was “not a revolutionary prospectus” and merely a “return to the Conservative manifesto commitments on which we had won our parliamentary majority” in 2019.

“Compared to what the UK is spending now, my plans would have saved £18 billion in 2023-24 and £17 billion in 2024-25,” she wrote. “Even taking the Treasury’s costings of tax cuts, my plans would have added less debt.

“I have heard many people say we should have gone slower, delayed the announcements and ‘rolled the pitch’ better. I accept the communications around the mini-budget were not as good as they could have been, but I have to ask: what would we have been waiting for?

“I knew that many of these things would be politically difficult and not immediately popular.

“The longer you wait in politics, the harder things become and experience suggests it is better for politicians to strike while the iron is hot and make use of their mandate while it is still fresh. That might have been a miscalculation, but it was not an outlandish strategy.”

‘Newsworthy anecdotes’

The book, which goes on sale next week, is described as being “peppered with newsworthy anecdotes from Ms Truss’s time in public life”.

The former prime minister said the book would also serve as a warning that “too many of her fellow Conservatives have allowed themselves to be captured by the Left-wing influences that set the agenda and frame the debate”.

Ms Truss took office on Sept 6 2022, and was Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister, with 44 days in No 10 that were dominated by the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ms Truss revealed how she felt in the immediate aftermath of the monarch’s death, writing: “We received the solemn news that the Queen had died peacefully at Balmoral. To be told this on only my second full day as prime minister felt utterly unreal. In a state of shock, I found myself thinking: ‘Why me? Why now?’”

She admitted that she felt some of her predecessors may have been “better suited to mark this historic moment with soaring rhetoric and statesmanship”, adding: “But that wasn’t my comfort zone.”

Ms Truss said she felt a “slightly bizarre camaraderie” between herself and King Charles during their first meeting.