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We thought the occasional elbow nudge was an alternative way of doing a handshake in the pandemic, but it seems a handful of Tory MPs are doing it to drop hints about whether they’re considering running as the next Conservative Party leader.

Foreign Affairs Committee chair and army veteran Tom Tugendhat was the first to publicly reveal he was thinking about standing as a candidate to replace Boris Johnson, telling Times Radio’s Tom Newton-Dunn “some of my colleagues are coy about [running]”.

“I don’t understand why. I don’t think you should be embarrassed to want to serve your country,” he added.

We’d also argue that being too vague or slow to act amid a potential upcoming leadership election can cost you, as Liz Truss – foreign secretary and someone rumoured to be eyeing up the top job – may be about to find out.

A popular politician amongst Conservative members, a few punny headlines have popped up over the years with the tagline, ‘In Liz, We Trust’.

Yes, we hate it too.

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Whatever next, her pot of donations for her campaign will be called a Truss Fund?

We digress. It was only a few weeks ago that freelance journalist James O’Malley tweeted out that somebody had registered both inlizwetruss.com and inlizwetruss.co.uk on 29 December.

“Look what I’ve just spotted … I wonder if someone is building a campaign website,” he wrote.

Commenters pointed out that the domain was being “squatted” – as in, someone had bought the domain to ‘sit on’ it and see how much interest it could garner from someone whose name rhymes with ‘Big Brexit Bus’.

Meanwhile The Telegraph reported last week an insider at the domain-selling website GoDaddy told them it was deliberately purchased with the aim of putting it on the resale market for a higher price than they paid for it.

If you were to go onto GoDaddy at the moment and search for inlizwetrust.co.uk, you would see that it is currently taken. So who owns it now?

That would be Dr Liam Mcloughlin, from Manchester.

“The £5 spent making inlizwetrust.co.uk redirect to this video was very much worth it,” he tweeted on 19 January.

If you want to find out where inlizwetruss.co.uk takes you, either click the link we just gave you, or just keep reading. We won’t tell you what to do.

The video selected by Dr Mcloughlin is in fact a comedy sketch from content creator Michael Spicer, popular for his ‘Room Next Door’ series where he guides politicians through embarrassing speeches from the room next door.

It does what it says on the tin, really.

In the clip, Ms Truss is delivering her infamous speech to Conservative Party Conference from 2014, one which has become a source for memes almost eight years later.

“Please close your gaps. It’s so quiet out there. All I can hear is the dryness of your mouth,” quipped Mr Spicer in the video, as he watched on.

“We import two thirds of all of our apples,” Ms Truss continued.

Mr Spicer’s character replied: “Do you hear that sound, Liz? That’s the sound of a room full of Tories not caring about apples … They don’t give a flying fig about cheese injustice!”

Ms Truss, who was the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs at the time, then appeared to move on to opening up pork markets in Beijing – something which became an instant meme for her awkward pause for applause.

The Room Next Door from 2014 - Liz Trusswww.youtube.com

The comedian simply commented: “Oh s***, not Beijing … Sorry, Liz, you’re done. You’re dead. You’re a meme.

“We’re going to Plan B, everyone. Plan B.”

Speaking to Indy100 about why he purchased the domain, Dr Mcloughlin said the scramble for domain names ahead of a leadership contest is “almost a sport”.

“Sometimes it’s not even that expensive. Clearly there wasn’t much worth in Liz Truss associated domains - inlizwetrust.co.uk only cost £5.

“There’s nothing funnier than thinking about a political campaign team trying to find a domain name, only to find out all the good ones direct to meme page throwing their candidate’s name through the mud.

“At the end of the day, when politicians fail to register domains as a precaution, someone else it going to do it to their detriment. Smart campaigns jump in early, while for others, it represents their first digital slip-up.”

Smart campaigns do indeed jump in early, but for inlizwetrust.co.uk, Dr Mcloughlin was smarter.

“When I found inlizwetrust.co.uk wasn’t taken, I just knew it needed to reference her disastrous 2014 speech referencing British cheese and pork exports,” he added.

We ask if Ms Truss’ team have been in touch, to which Dr Mcloughlin replies: “No one from their campaign team has contacted me – not that I’d sell it!”

Ouch.

Meanwhile, Mr Spicer clearly loves the idea:

As for whether Dr Mcloughlin thinks Ms Truss will actually run, and who he’s backing to replace Mr Johnson, he said he wouldn’t want to speculate.

“You never know, a relatively unknown backbencher might surprise everyone. It’s happened before,” he wrote.

The Mancunian's cheeky purchase of inlizwetrust.co.uk isn’t the only time people have bought domain names to link to joke sites.

Earlier this month it was discovered that Liar.co.uk links somewhere – and we’ll leave that to you to figure out.

Indy100 has approached Liz Truss' team for comment.

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