HomeWorldLess than a month into the job, Liz Truss is already battling...

Less than a month into the job, Liz Truss is already battling to convince her MPs that she is ready to be prime minister.SEDI News

A party conference less than a month after becoming prime minister should, in theory, await any new Conservative leader.

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But for Liz Truss, the next few days in Birmingham are likely to be more bearable than fun.

The Tories meet for their annual gathering with the economy in chaos and opinion polls predicting the party is headed for an extinction-level event at the next election.

A former cabinet minister who backed Truss in the leadership contest told HuffPost UK: “The conference will be a show with Moody Ace.”

Another Tory MP has started telling colleagues the party has gone “trusterfucked”.

Things started to go spectacularly wrong for the PM as soon as his chancellor and close ally Kwasi Kwarteng presented the mini-budget last week.

Making good on Truce’s leadership contest promise to tear up Treasury “orthodoxy”, he announced the scrapping of the 45p income tax rate paid by those earning more than £150,000 a year, as well as the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

The basic rate is also being cut from 20p to 19p, in addition to scrapping a rise in National Insurance and a planned rise in corporation tax.

In total, £45 billion-worth of taxes are being axed, funded by massive increases in government debt.

Although there was no office for budget responsibility assessment of what it all meant for public finances, the judgment of international money markets was swift and brutal – the pound fell in value and government borrowing costs soared.

That led to predictions that interest rates could hit 6 per cent next year, meaning misery for mortgage holders and those looking to get on the property ladder.

In a highly unusual move, the International Monetary Fund issued a statement urging the government to “reassess” its strategy, while the Bank of England was forced to bail out the pension industry by £65 billion so that “the UK’s financial stability.

After days of silence, Truss finally broke cover in a series of devastating local radio interviews, during which she blamed the war in Ukraine for global economic uncertainty and insisted the government would not change course.

Within hours, a succession of opinion polls appeared, each giving Labor a big lead, with a YouGov survey for The Times putting Keir Starmer’s party a staggering 33 points ahead of the Tories.

That means in her conference speech on Wednesday, Truss must not only reassure her party that she is up to the job, she must try and show the country that her government can turn things around while at the same time reassuring markets that the U.S. K. Not an economic basket case.

HuffPost UK understands that many Tory MPs – particularly those with no future under a Truss premiership – are responding to the gloom that has engulfed the party without appearing in Birmingham.

“A lot of people are unhappy about how they were fired,” said one insider.

“They have been thrown out in the cold and now many are biding their time and considering stepping down.”

“I’m the proud owner of a D grade in GCSE maths and I can run the economy better than these chancers.”

Discussion of letters of no confidence already sent to 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, with MPs – even those who supported Rishi Sunak as leader – still willing to give the PM the benefit of the doubt.

“Some people have lost roles, but the majority of the party is backing the PM to succeed,” one MP told HuffPost UK.

One backbencher said: “People are upset, but you know how ridiculous it would be to change leaders again after such a short time.”

Another added: “I didn’t vote for Liz but she won the mandate of membership. The entire party needs to rally and give her time and space to implement her policies.

In a sign of deep divisions within the party, one MP likened the Prime Minister’s supporters to “Branch Davidian cultists still supporting David Koresh as the compound burns”.

An aide said: “I’m the proud owner of a D grade in GCSE maths and I can run the economy better than these chancers too.”

Meanwhile, Charles Walker – the long-serving Broxbourne MP who is standing down at the next election – said his party now had to brace itself for opposition.

He told Times Radio: “It’s hard to argue now that the Conservatives can win that general election, I suspect the conversation is, you know, how much are we losing it?”

One party insider was more optimistic, however, telling HuffPost UK: “Voting is probably the biggest point of concern but it is a mid-term government in a period of economic crisis, having just emerged from a bruising leadership election.

“Of course the turnout will be poor and the constant bashing from Conservative MPs will not help. Liz just needs to be firm, get the unpopular stuff out quickly and the dividends should be reaped before or by the next election.

“The government now has a choice to make a dash for development or play it safe,” another party insider said.

“While playing it cautiously will please the market now, it will lead to certain doom in the election, or we can bet on growth now with adverse short-term effects but in the medium or long term it could work out really well.”

There is growing anger over the impact of the mini-budget, however, with some MPs – including former chief whip Julian Smith – breaking cover to urge the PM and Chancellor to do a U-turn.

They will get a chance to flex their muscles when the Finance Bill implementing the tax changes is brought in Parliament.

In a major blow to the Trust’s credibility, some MPs are preparing to join the opposition to defeat the government.

“MPs are whispering about refusing to support the budget vote,” said one Tory adviser. This was considered the simplest of all supply side reforms.

“I don’t think it will happen but it’s still notable that they’re thinking or talking about it.”

As she prepares to address the party faithful, Liz Truce knows she is already in the fight of her political life, four weeks after taking over from Boris Johnson in Number 10.

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