Liz Truss says ‘jury’s out’ on whether Macron is ‘friend or foe'

Liz Truss is now the prime minister. Lucky us.

What that means for the country and its multiple problems is something time (as well as Truss) will decide but one thing we are sure about a Truss Britain is that it will open the floodgates to a plethora of terrible media appearances.

Because when Truss has appeared in interviews, she has royally put her foot in it - making diplomatic cock-ups, insulting people and just getting things plain wrong.

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A picture tells a thousand words but examples tell a million. So here are some of her worst clangers:

1. When she slagged off Macron

At the penultimate Conservative leadership hustings, Truss said that “the jury is still out” on whether the French president Emmanuel Macron was a “friend or foe”.

She was condemned by diplomats and in response, Macron said it was “not good to lose your bearings too much”. If he was asked the same question, he said: “I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. France is a friend of the British people.”

If France and Britain “cannot say whether they are friends or enemies – and that is not a neutral term – then we are headed for serious problems”, the French president said.

2. When she implied the BBC doesn't get their "facts right"

Meanwhile, in a GB News-led husting during the leadership contest, Truss snubbed the state broadcaster after her interviewer Alistair Stewart made a mistake. She praised GB News for usually being correct, apparently, adding: “It’s not the BBC, you actually get your facts right.”

3. When she took a pop at Nicola Sturgeon

We're sensing a theme here. When she wasn't busy slagging Macron and the BBC, Truss was eroding England's relationship with Scotland by calling Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon an "attention seeker".

Her comments came during a Tory party hustings in Exeter, when she was asked whether there could be another Scottish independence referendum.

“The best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her,” she said. "I’m sorry, she’s an attention seeker, that’s what she is.”

Then, during a Sky News interview, she declined to apologise for the remarks, despite the backlash she received.

4. When she couldn't pronounce an Irish word

So Scottish and French people have good reason to be annoyed at Truss, but how about the Irish?

Well, given she pronounced the Irish word “Taoiseach” as “tea sock” in an interview in June, we'd imagine they don't think very highly of her.

She was speaking about the Northern Ireland protocol and lest we forget, she is the foreign secretary so it would have been good if she had brushed up on how to pronounce how Ireland refers to their prime minister.

At least it was funny.

5. When she was confronted about all her U-turns

Truss has also done a bad job when speaking about policy. In August, Truss was interviewed by Sky News' Kay Burley about her leadership bid who laid out all her changing political opinions.

She said: "You were a Remainer, and now you're not. You supported Brits to fight in Ukraine then you didn't. You wanted to build on the green belt, and now you don't. You wanted to abolish the monarchy, and now you don't. You wanted to arm Taiwan and now I'm not sure if you're saying whether you do or not."

It was a very awkward moment indeed and in response, Truss said she didn't come from "a traditional Conservative background" and that she was a Liberal Democrat "as a teenager."

"Show me somebody who has the same views at 19 and 49 and I'll show you somebody who's not capable of original thoughts," she declared.

6. When she stood up for the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia

Here's an opinion Truss might do well to change her mind about - the UK pursuing closer ties with Saudi Arabia despite the country's human rights record.

She spoke about the matter in March and struggled under the scrutiny of Burley once again.

"I am not condoning the policies of Saudi Arabia, what I am saying is we are in an existential threat and we need to find alternative sources of oil and gas so we are no longer dependent on Vladimir Putin and his appalling regime", she said.

7. When she was skewered over the Tories' housing record

No wonder Truss didn't want to come face to face with Andrew Neil during the leadership contest. In 2019, he burned her so badly she is probably still icing it.

Neil quizzed the then trade secretary how many homes the Tories had built after they pledged in 2015 to build 200,000 starter homes in five years.

She didn't know the answer even though the statistic was pretty easy to remember. A big fat zero.

8. When she refused to define a party

When Partygate was dogging the Tories in December last year, Truss actually spoke to Robinson about it. But the conversation soon became quite one-sided because she refused to even define what a party is.

Maybe she just hasn't been to many?

9. When she failed to defend one of her colleagues

Back in May, Tory MP Rachel Maclean sparked outrage by saying people struggling with rising bills should work more hours or get a better paid job.

So in came Truss to defend her on media rounds, by claiming her comments were taken out of context and mischaracterised.

Is that fair enough? Perhaps, but it soon became clear that wasn't something Truss had authority on to judge, given she then admitted she hadn't seen the interview at all.

"You'll appreciate that I've been working on the foreign affairs brief on issues like the Northern Ireland protocol so I didn't see the interview," she said.

However, she continued: "I know Rachel and I know that she is somebody who cares deeply about making sure people are able to get by, that we deal with this issue of inflation that we are facing in our economy and I think you've mischaracterised what she said".

10. When she laughed during an interview about austerity

In 2019 Truss, when she was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Truss had an absolutely awful interview with LBC presenter Eddie Mair.

He repeatedly asked her: "How have you personally been affected by austerity?" but she dodged the question and awkwardly laughed which wasn't exactly a good look.

11. When she forgot she changed her mind about Brexit

In the same interview, Mair asked Truss about the prospect of a second referendum and suggested people may have changed their mind about their vote since the referendum.

Truss bizarrely claimed, "I don’t think people have changed their minds," to which Mair pointed out that she had.

12. When she didn't do her homework on Brexit

And that isn't the only time Truss has struggled to get to grips with Brexit. In an interview in October 2019, she was asked about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and how that would be managed.

She said she didn't know how the UK would legally achieve it and said that even if she did, she wouldn't tell the media.

13. When she cancelled an interview with the BBC

Truss was told off recently because she cancelled an interview with the BBC's Nick Robinson.

She was accused of avoiding the media on purpose, to dodge scrutiny and push her own messages out instead but her team said she didn't have time for the interview.

We've got a lot more of this nonsense ahead of us now she's PM.

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