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British politics

Truss: undone by her hubris

Lost for words: the PM at her press conference last week

Liz Truss “was always best understood as the eternal rebel”, says Iain Martin in The Times: first a teenage Lib Dem “working to axe the monarchy”, then a “hyper-individualistic libertarian Conservative radical”. But she only won the Tory leadership contest because party members had doubts about Rishi Sunak – there was no real mandate, as she mistakenly assumed, for her “cartoonish” economics. Now her hubris has undone her, the Tories’ “only honourable option” is to focus on the national interest. The PM will likely fall before the end of the year and be replaced by Sunak, who must lead a “sombre, responsible government” that makes the tax rises which are unfortunately necessary. The best he, or any new leader, can hope to do is hand over the country at the next election “in a moderately better condition” than Truss has left it.

With the appointment of Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor and Grant Shapps as Home Secretary, metropolitan, liberal Conservatives think they’re back in control, says Robert Shrimsley in the FT. They’re mistaken. The stable “economic and social circumstances” of the David Cameron era are long gone; “the high tide of globalisation has passed”, and Brexiteers and China hawks have erected trade barriers that are damaging our economy. “The grown-ups may be back, but Brexit has robbed the country of a grown-up economic policy.”