Liz Truss on Trump, Brexit and … fleas? 9 things we learned reading her new book

LONDON — They say history is written by the victors, but that hasn’t stopped Liz Truss having a go.

The former British prime minister — perhaps best known internationally for failing to outlast a lettuce — has a new call to arms hitting shelves Tuesday.

Truss was ousted after just 49 days in office, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. But that hasn’t stopped her penning a combination of memoir and manifesto, which, according to its U.S. subtitle, shows Truss “leading the Revolution Against Globalism, Socialism and the Liberal Establishment.”

POLITICO pored over the 320-page tome — and Truss’ punchy round of promotional interviews — so you didn’t have to.

Truss really didn’t like living in Downing Street

Who knew it was so difficult to get upper-class groceries delivered to No. 10 Downing Street? 

Truss says her supermarket of choice, Ocado, had to be convinced the address on her order “wasn’t a hoax,” a challenge exacerbated by whether or not the cops would allow the items through.

Truss says the “isolating” and “soulless” building used by British prime minister would not be “rated well” on Airbnb. To make matters worse, Truss spent “several weeks itching” due to a flea infestation. 

Who knew it was so difficult to get upper-class groceries delivered to No. 10 Downing Street? | Tolga Akmen/EFE via EPA

She railed against having to organize her own “hair and make-up appointments” and dispatch an official “in the middle of the night” to buy her some cough medicine. The struggle is real!

Truss really, really didn’t like the economic ‘establishment’

Truss’ administration began to unravel when she unveiled a mini-budget that sent markets into a spin.

The former prime minister uses her book to rail against British institutions including the Treasury, the Bank of England and Office for Budget Responsibility for a “sustained whispering campaign” against her policies. She accuses them of all “having the same mindset” on big issues like the EU, China and immigration.

In media interviews to promote the book, Truss went a step further, saying Bank of England chief Andrew Bailey should quit and urging a “proper investigation” into how her policy plans were scuppered. 

While accepting comms around the ill-fated budget “were not as good as they could have been,” Truss says the establishment had her “at gunpoint” by declaring a “market meltdown” unless she junked her entire policy agenda. And she colorfully compares her plight to a “game of Tetris when you start losing control and the pieces are getting closer and closer to the top.” 

The media also comes in for a good pasting — they were, she laments, too “hungry for political drama.” Sorry about that!

She’s a big fan of Donald Trump, though

Truss has already used the book promo circuit to firm up her support for Donald Trump. Speaking to LBC, Truss said “it has to be” Trump in the White House, and told the Spectator “the world was safer” when the Republican was in power.

Truss said “it has to be” Trump in the White House. | Shawn Thew/EFE via EPA

Truss has also laid into incumbent Joe Biden, criticizing the U.S.’s president’s opposition to the tax-cutting mini-budget and saying she was “astounded that Biden would breach protocol by commenting on U.K. domestic policy.”

The queen gave her sage advice, then died

Truss says she “should have listened” to Queen Elizabeth II’s advice to “pace yourself” when she became prime minister, in what would end up being the monarch’s final public engagement before her death.

The queen’s passing, right at the start of Truss’ time in office, had the beleaguered PM asking: “Why me? Why now?” She admits she didn’t have the soaring rhetorical skills needed at a time of national crisis.

The former PM also mentions the “slightly bizarre camaraderie” she shared with King Charles III as the pair navigated their new roles.

The queen’s passing, right at the start of Truss’ time in office, had the beleaguered PM asking: “Why me? Why now?” | Pool photo by Phil Noble via WPA/Getty Images

Truss mixed up Biden and Macron’s spouses

One of the few international visits Truss was able to make as prime minister was to the U.N. General Assembly after the Queen’s funeral — and she really flew the flag.

Spotting a blond woman she recognized, Truss says she called out “Hi, Dr Biden!” believing it to be U.S. First Lady Jill Biden. Turns out it was French President Macron’s wife Brigitte.

Honestly, imagine a world leader getting a crucial detail like that wrong!

Truss’ husband saw it all coming

Truss says she “started crying” upon learning of Boris Johnson’s dramatic resignation as prime minister, a move that left the top job open to her as a Conservative Party favorite. 

Her husband Hugh O’Leary recognized if Truss didn’t run, people would say she’d “bottled it,” yet eerily predicted “it would all end in tears.”

The former PM mentions the “slightly bizarre camaraderie” she shared with King Charles III | Pool photo by Kirsty O’Connor via WPA/Getty Images

Truss was also encouraged to run by her political agent in her Norfolk constituency, though he thought “it would be best if I came second,” she writes. 

After it all went down in flames, Truss says being prime minister felt like a “very strange film in which I had somehow been cast.” Are Gillian Anderson or Meryl Streep around?

Whitehall power player Sue Gray tried to give her a hug

Truss says she shared an awkward embrace with then-top civil servant Sue Gray back in 2017. 

Truss had just been demoted and Gray, at the time a feared senior government official, tried to deliver a hug of commiseration. One problem? Truss had just been physically sick.

“I didn’t welcome her embrace — I am not a hugger — but given how delicate I was feeling, she got off lightly,” Truss writes. 

No wonder Gray now works for the opposition Labour Party.

Truss reckons she could’ve made a better job of Brexit

Truss writes that the U.K, “should have been much more hard­headed” in Brexit talks with the European Union, which viewed Britain’s departure from the bloc “as an act of war.” 

“The only thing they understand is pain,” she writes of the bloc, as she takes a swipe at “cautious civil servants” and pandering politicians too ready to roll over.

A long-coveted U.S. trade deal was, she argues, put on the back burner despite Donald Trump’s apparent enthusiasm for one. Truss argues a deal “would have strengthened our hand,” but that the country “threw away” that opportunity. 

Truss was the Cabinet minister responsible for *checks notes* trade deals from 2019-2021.

She hasn’t ruled out doing it all again

We haven’t heard the last of Liz Truss, who’s been taking her fight against the liberal elites to the U.S. and hardly shied away from taking shots at her successor Rishi Sunak.

Speaking to LBC as she sells the book, the ex-prime minister refused to rule out running for Tory leader again. She has, she says, got some “unfinished business” and “serious change” is required to save the British economy. 

To quote a king… “Dear, oh dear.”