‘Excruciating to watch’ Kay Burley goes viral with brutal Tory debate probe into Truss

Kay Burley grills Liz Truss on her policy U-Turns

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During Thursday night’s third and final televised debate as part of the Conservative leadership contest, Ms Truss was grilled for her seemingly ever-changing views on topics such as Brexit and the legitimacy of the monarchy. Ms Burley brought up the Foreign Secretary’s apparent U-turns on Brexit, Ukraine, the green belt, civil servant’s pay, the abolition of the monarchy, and whether or not to arm Taiwan, a point over which she stumbled at length during the debate. Users took to social media to describe the “excruciating” moment when Ms Truss was left tongue-tied by Ms Burley’s mocking question, asking if the “real” Foreign Secretary would stand up. 

Ms Burley said: “Final question for you. You were a Remainer and now you are not. You supported Brits to fight in Ukraine and then you did not. 

“You wanted to build on the green belt and now you do not. You wanted to abolish the monarchy and now you do not. 

“You wanted to arm Taiwan and now I am not sure whether you are saying you do or you do not. You wanted to cut civil servants’ pay in the regions and then you said you did not.”

Ms Burley then paused for effect, before saying: “Will the real Liz Truss please stand up.” 

The question sparked applause among the audience as Ms Truss looked sheepish before responding in a video moment now widely shared on social media,

Ms Truss has enjoyed success in her campaign since going head-to-head with Rishi Sunak and she is still favourite to become the next Prime Minister, holding roughly 58 percent of the Tory Party member’s confidence according to the latest poll. 

But Thursday night’s debate appeared to finish with Mr Sunak on top having performed the best and even drawing out several rounds of applause. 

Lord Robert Hayward, a Conservative peer and elections analyst, said Mr Sunak’s performance had caused “a stop in terms of the momentum in one direction” of the campaign he said had recently been going in Liz Truss’ favour.

Speaking to Sky News, Lord Hayward said: “There’s no question in my mind and the vote of the audience, it was the first time that he had clearly led in a debate.”

He added: “Liz has had the best of the last few days, no question about it, with the series of endorsements from different major personalities. I think what happened last night was there was a stop in terms of the momentum in one direction.

“It won’t necessarily have reversed it, but there will be this morning a different sense of messaging that is around.”

On Friday, following the debate, Ms Truss acknowledged there will be a “tough winter” ahead but reiterated her pledge to move away from the “business-as-usual” policies to help “reform the economy”.

The foreign secretary, speaking during a visit to meet key investors in the City of London, said: “The reality is we’re facing a recession if we carry on with our business-as-usual policies.


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“People are struggling – whether it’s to pay food bills or fuel bills – that’s why it’s very important we reverse the national insurance increase, we have a temporary moratorium on the green energy levy to help people with their fuel bills.

“The most important thing is getting the economy going so we avoid a recession and the business-as-usual policies aren’t working, we need to do more, and that’s why I am determined to reform the economy and keep taxes low.” 

She added: “I know it’s going to be a tough winter, I want to do all I can to make sure we’re releasing the reserves in the North Sea of gas, I want to get on with things like fracking in areas that support it, and I also want to make sure that we’re moving ahead with nuclear power and more renewables.

“Of course, it will take time but the best time to start is today in moving that forward, as well as giving people all the help we can by keeping their taxes low and getting the economy going.”


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