Conservative Party Conference ends with the Conservative Party in turmoil as the fallout from the ‘mini-Budget’ continues to reverberate both in the Party and in the polls.
As a recently elected Party Leader and Prime Minister, Liz Truss would have expected to arrive at Conference on a high, taking in the adulation from the Conservative membership and MPs. However instead, she leaves deeply damaged, with many of her own MPs and Cabinet in open revolt.
Conference was overshadowed by the eventual U-turn over abolishing the 45p tax rate. Whilst not actually costing that much more than £2bn to the Exchequer, the optics and reputational hit of cutting taxes for the highest earners whilst proposing to slash public spending proved too much for Truss’s critics.
With the Party trailing in the polls and criticism coming thick and fast, Truss has a vanishing window of opportunity to change the narrative on her premiership and arrest the feeling that the next election is Labour’s to lose. This Conference, instead of helping Truss regain the narrative, set the party significantly backwards. Despite only being in office for a matter of weeks, Truss’s position already looks fragile with MPs and journalists speaking fatalistically about her future.