UK

Truss says world ‘needs Republican in White House’ but does not mention Trump

Liz Truss criticised ‘conservatives in name only’ during a speech to the right-wing Cpac conference near Washington DC.

Former prime minister Liz Truss told a right-wing conference in America that the world ‘needs a Republican in the White House’
Liz Truss Former prime minister Liz Truss told a right-wing conference in America that the world ‘needs a Republican in the White House’ (Victoria Jones/PA)

The world “needs a Republican back in the White House”, Liz Truss has told a right-wing conference in America, but stopped short of directly endorsing Donald Trump.

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (Cpac) near Washington DC, the former prime minister said conservatives being in power was the only way to “save the West” from opponents such as Russia, Iran and China.

Ms Truss said: “Of course we need a Republican back in the White House. By the way, it isn’t just America that needs it desperately, we need it desperately right across the free world, because you are the leaders of the free world, like it or not.”

She added: “We need Republicans who are prepared to fight. We need Republicans who aren’t going to cave in to the establishment.

“We need Republicans who are prepared to take on those difficult tasks even if it’s unpopular, even if they’re criticised, even if they don’t get invited to any dinner parties.”

But Ms Truss stopped short of endorsing Republican front-runner and Cpac favourite Mr Trump by name.

Her speech came a month after her predecessor in Downing Street, Boris Johnson, used his Daily Mail column to endorse the former president, who continues to claim the 2020 election was stolen from him, faces multiple criminal charges, and suggested he would be willing to let Vladimir Putin attack Nato countries.

In her 15-minute address to Cpac, Ms Truss also took aim at “Chinos” – conservatives in name only – saying: “It’s people who think ‘I want to be popular, I don’t want to upset people, I don’t want to look like a mean person, I want to attend nice dinner parties in London or Washington DC, I want my friends to like me, I don’t want to cause trouble’.

“What those people are doing is they are compromising, and they are triangulating, and they are losing the argument.”

Ms Truss also repeated arguments she has made previously, claiming an “administrative state” and left-wing interests had undermined her policies in Downing Street.

She said: “Conservatives are now operating in what is now a hostile environment and we essentially need a bigger bazooka.”

Interviewed by former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon after her speech, Ms Truss said she was willing to work with Nigel Farage to change the Conservative Party.

She said: “I will work with whoever it takes to make our country successful, I will work with whoever.

Liz Truss and Nigel Farage (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
Election 2024 CPAC Liz Truss and Nigel Farage (Jose Luis Magana/AP) (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

“And Nigel, I’ve done an interview with him today, I would like him to become a member of the Conservative Party and help turn our country around.”

She also suggested Mr Bannon, who is facing fraud charges in New York, could “come over to Britain and sort out Britain”, to which he joked that he “may be banned in Britain”.

In response to Ms Truss’s speech, the Liberal Democrats renewed calls for her to be stripped of the £115,000 allowance given to former prime ministers to help run their private offices.

Party deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “This Conservative Party love-in for right-wing American politics is like watching a slow moving car crash.

“These bizarre conspiracy theories pedalled by Truss and her cabal should have no place in British politics. Blue Wall voters will run a mile from this nonsense.”

Mr Trump and Reform UK founder Mr Farage are due to address Cpac on Friday.