Scrap net zero targets to win elections, urges Liz Truss

Liz Truss has urged Rishi Sunak to abandon all net zero targets to win the general election.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the former prime minister called on her successor to change course on ecological issues, migration and human rights laws to “implement the Conservative policies that the public really want”.

The intervention comes as the Conservatives remain behind Sir Keir Starmer’s Labor Party by around 20 points in the polls, just over five weeks before polling day on July 4.

Sunak has taken a more pragmatic approach to climate change policy than former prime ministers Boris Johnson or Theresa May, having delayed or watered down a number of targets last summer, although he remains committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ms Truss spoke the day before the general election was called, but her comments indicate the appetite among many on the Conservative and grassroots right for a change of direction in the coming weeks.

“The conservative party needs to change”

Reflecting on the current state of the Conservatives, Ms Truss said: “I think the Conservative Party needs to change and be much clearer about what we need to do to dismantle the left-wing state, so we can pursue Conservative policies.”

He added: “We need to change the way we are governed. And the argument of my book is that unless we do that, we won’t be able to implement the conservative policies that the public really want, like controlling immigration and getting rid of the impacts of net zero.”

Asked if it was time for the Government to abolish all its net zero targets, he replied: “I think so, yes.”

Ms Truss was kicked out of Downing Street by mutinous Conservative MPs in October 2022, after just 49 days.

The mini-budget he presented with Kwasi Kwarteng, his chancellor, included a wide range of broad tax cuts, but lost him the confidence of the markets, leading to higher mortgage rates for millions of homeowners and a significant drop in pension funds.

But Truss rejected suggestions that her tax event was responsible for the collapse of the Conservatives’ poll fortunes in the autumn of that year, from which Sunak has struggled to make up ground.

‘Mistake in getting rid of Johnson’

“Firstly, I think it was a mistake on the part of the Conservative Party to get rid of Boris, who had been our election winner, so we weren’t entering into a great situation given that there was regicide,” he said.

“But the public responded to what had happened to the financial markets but also to the political shenanigans; In other words, Conservative MPs attacked what I was doing.

“Am I then responsible for other people attacking my policies? Am I responsible for the Bank of England’s failure to do its job of financial stability?

“What I will not do, and I am very clear about it, is not take responsibility for things over which I have no power. “This goes to the heart of what I think is the problem we have in Britain now: that politicians are often held responsible for things they cannot control.”

He added that Westminster had ceded a “huge amount of decision-making power” to institutions such as the Bank of England, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and quangos such as Natural England, as well as the civil service generally.

‘Farage and Tice are welcome to join the Conservative Party’

Responding to questions from readers of The Telegraph’s Politics Newsletter, Ms Truss also argued that the Conservatives should shift to the political right to neutralize the electoral threat posed by Richard Tice’s reform party.

Support for reform is expected to cost the Conservatives dozens of battleground seats in the election and currently accounts for about 10 percent of the popular vote.

“I want the Conservative Party to be much clearer on issues like abandoning the ECHR, scrapping the Human Rights Act, ditching our net zero targets, so that we can create the dynamic, successful country that people want to live in,” he said. . saying.

“And if we do that, there will be no need for a Reform Party because people will see their aspirations realized through the Conservative Party.”

He also revealed he would welcome Mr Tice and Nigel Farage, Reform’s honorary president, to the group, adding: “I would like them to join the Conservative Party.”

Ms Truss went on to indicate her support for limiting net migration to around 100,000, echoing a commitment made in previous Conservative manifestos.

“I am in favor of immigration being placed at that level. I’m also in favor of more public input on what our immigration levels should be. I think it should be debated in Parliament. “I think there should be an annual debate about it.”

Despite previously claiming she had “unfinished” business in the Conservative Party, Truss ruled out running for leader again even if Sunak lost the general election.

When asked if he was considering another run in the future, he said: “I’m not. I don’t plan to do that, no.”

Asked for her message to disillusioned Conservative Party supporters, Truss said: “Vote Conservative, join the Conservative Party, help us deliver popular Conservative policies.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow paymaster-general, said: “As Rishi Sunak spends the day holed up in his mansion, Liz Truss is once again reminding voters that she has no control over her party, and the desperate Jeremy Hunt is doing more Completely unfunded promises.

“Five more years of Tories will mean more chaos, and the British public will have to pay the price every day.”