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Cabinet minister Liz Truss 'overheard saying Sajid Javid or Jeremy Hunt will replace Theresa May and everyone hates Michael Gove'

Top News2018-12-07

A Cabinet minister was allegedly overheard making inflammatory comments about a number of her colleagues, including Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove, during lunch at a London restaurant.Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said Ms May was a "pacifist" and a bad manager of people, and accused Mr Hunt, the foreign secretary, of "gameplaying", according to a political activist who said he was sitting at the next table. She also reportedly claimed "everybody hates" Mr Gove, the environment secretary.Writing on Twitter, Zack Polanski, an actor and Green Party parliamentary candidate, said he had overheard Mr Truss loudly discussing the prospects of ministers vying to succeed Ms May as prime minister.He claimed the minister said Mr Hunt and Sajid Javid, the home secretary, were the frontrunners to be the next prime minister.Ms Truss allegedly described the former as "so charming" but said he had "no consistency", adding: "One minute he's all about the free market and the next... Matt Hancock [Mr Hunt's successor as health secretary] is actually getting stuck into policy whereas Jeremy was all about the game-playing."Predicting that a vote of no confidence could be called if Ms May fails to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal, Ms Truss reportedly said Mr Javid "needs to be really ready to deal with that".The chief secretary is said to have claimed that only Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, would be able to beat Mr Javid and Mr Hunt.Ms Truss is also thought to be a potential candidate if a leadership election is triggered.Turning to her own views, she is said to have told her lunch partner that her "new vision" was to "unleash" young activists to "win over the next generation". Part of this, she is reported to have said, must be "about the roads", including getting large corporations to sponsor Britain's biggest motorways.According to Mr Polanski, she said: "My new vision is all about the roads. We need to push to get company sponsorship for the top 10 motorways. Like they have in the USA where Burger King sponsor pot holes. We'll wait until the New Year though because obviously now everything is consumed by Brexit."Ms Truss is also said to have criticised Ms May. Mr Polanski said she argued that the prime minister should have used Mr Gove more during negotiations with EU to help win the support of Tory Brexiteers.But she said of her Cabinet colleague: "Mind you everyone hates him - they all blame him for not letting Boris be Boris. Then we wouldn't have Theresa as prime minister - and to be fair, they're right."Of Ms May, according to Mr Polanksi, Ms Truss said: "The only person worse at managing people than David Cameron is...Theresa May. She's such a pacifist whereas I embrace the chaos. I'm a thrillseeker."And continuing her scathing assessment of Cabinet colleagues, she is said to have claimed  Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, had "gone quiet" after a string of failures. She is reported to have said: "Military spending rejected by the Treasury. His modernisation didn't really work and he can't get it signed off. He's got a speech next week and it's all going to be sketchy."Mr Polanski defended his decision to tweet about what he said he had overheard.He said: "I respect that people will be concerned about invasion of privacy and I respect that instinct. Ultimately though this is a public conversation of a very senior figure who says one thing on TV and clearly believes differently. We have a right to know and it's pretty damning."He added: "My judgement is that a public restaurant talking about cabinet meetings is not a smart or careful move and this is the equivalent of journo photographers snapping documents."The Treasury declined to comment.(THE INDEPENDENT)

A Cabinet minister was allegedly overheard making inflammatory comments about a number of her colleagues, including Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove, during lunch at a London restaurant.


Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said Ms May was a "pacifist" and a bad manager of people, and accused Mr Hunt, the foreign secretary, of "gameplaying", according to a political activist who said he was sitting at the next table. 


She also reportedly claimed "everybody hates" Mr Gove, the environment secretary.


Writing on Twitter, Zack Polanski, an actor and Green Party parliamentary candidate, said he had overheard Mr Truss loudly discussing the prospects of ministers vying to succeed Ms May as prime minister.

He claimed the minister said Mr Hunt and Sajid Javid, the home secretary, were the frontrunners to be the next prime minister.


Ms Truss allegedly described the former as "so charming" but said he had "no consistency", adding: "One minute he's all about the free market and the next... Matt Hancock [Mr Hunt's successor as health secretary] is actually getting stuck into policy whereas Jeremy was all about the game-playing."


Predicting that a vote of no confidence could be called if Ms May fails to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal, Ms Truss reportedly said Mr Javid "needs to be really ready to deal with that".


The chief secretary is said to have claimed that only Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, would be able to beat Mr Javid and Mr Hunt.


Ms Truss is also thought to be a potential candidate if a leadership election is triggered.

Turning to her own views, she is said to have told her lunch partner that her "new vision" was to "unleash" young activists to "win over the next generation". Part of this, she is reported to have said, must be "about the roads", including getting large corporations to sponsor Britain's biggest motorways.


According to Mr Polanski, she said: "My new vision is all about the roads. We need to push to get company sponsorship for the top 10 motorways. Like they have in the USA where Burger King sponsor pot holes. We'll wait until the New Year though because obviously now everything is consumed by Brexit."


Ms Truss is also said to have criticised Ms May. Mr Polanski said she argued that the prime minister should have used Mr Gove more during negotiations with EU to help win the support of Tory Brexiteers.


But she said of her Cabinet colleague: "Mind you everyone hates him - they all blame him for not letting Boris be Boris. Then we wouldn't have Theresa as prime minister - and to be fair, they're right."

Of Ms May, according to Mr Polanksi, Ms Truss said: "The only person worse at managing people than David Cameron is...Theresa May. She's such a pacifist whereas I embrace the chaos. I'm a thrillseeker."


And continuing her scathing assessment of Cabinet colleagues, she is said to have claimed  Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, had "gone quiet" after a string of failures. She is reported to have said: "Military spending rejected by the Treasury. His modernisation didn't really work and he can't get it signed off. He's got a speech next week and it's all going to be sketchy."



Mr Polanski defended his decision to tweet about what he said he had overheard.


He said: "I respect that people will be concerned about invasion of privacy and I respect that instinct. Ultimately though this is a public conversation of a very senior figure who says one thing on TV and clearly believes differently. We have a right to know and it's pretty damning."


He added: "My judgement is that a public restaurant talking about cabinet meetings is not a smart or careful move and this is the equivalent of journo photographers snapping documents."


The Treasury declined to comment.

(THE INDEPENDENT)

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