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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Truss says she Cannot Deliver the Mandate for which she was Elected; Truss to Remain in Office Until Successor is Named; Truss: "Given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected"; Liz Truss Resigns as British Prime Minister. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired October 20, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNNI HOST: Hello, I'm Julia Chatterley. And as you've been hearing political drama in the last half an hour the British Prime
Minister Liz Truss has resigned. After just six weeks in office, she gave this short statement outside Downing Street.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I recognize though, given this situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative
Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as Leader of the Conservative Party. This morning, I met the
Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.
We've agreed that there will be a Leadership election to be completed within the next week. This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver
our fiscal plans and maintain our country's economic stability and national security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been
chosen. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Max Foster joins us now from London and Scott McLean is at Downing Street. Max will speak about it in a second but Scott to you first,
because you're literally where the political drama that unfolded in the last few moments. Shocking, but not surprising, I think after the last four
weeks of utter chaos.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia, I think the Conservative Party had gotten to the point, where they either had to rip off the band aid and
get a new Leader. Or try to come to grips with the Leader that they had and move forward. But increasingly became apparent that was not going to be
And it seems like Liz Truss in her announcement today made very clear that her Leadership she realized was no longer tenable. Yesterday all seem to
come to a head with the resignation of the Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who suggested in a not so subtle way that Liz Truss ought to follow her out
the door. And it seems like over the last few weeks, Julia, Liz Truss has tried to do everything to try to salvage her Leadership.
First, she tried to roll back just a small part of her economic plan. Then she fired her Chancellor, and then she rolled back a much larger part
almost all of her economic plan. But even that wasn't enough, despite the fact that she brought in a chancellor from the other wing of the more
moderate wing of her party.
She now has a new Home Secretary from the more moderate wing of her party. None of that seem to matter. There were plenty of Conservative MPs who were
willing to or who were not willing to go along with Liz Truss anymore.
And so the party is going in another direction. But Julia, there are still a lot, a lot of open questions about what comes next, who will put
themselves forward for Leadership and how exactly that contest will work.
CHATTERLEY: Questions, Max, we can't escape the fact that the backdrop here is economically challenging. It's geopolitically challenging. But much of
what we've seen has been effective self-sabotage. And when you look at that statement, again, I can see another hugely challenging situation for the
Conservative Party here. And that's coming up with a fresh Leader in just one week's time.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Just an email from a Professor University of Exeter, Professor Richard Toye. And his first line is Liz
Truss had a difficult hand. And played it appallingly, which I think says it pretty well.
There were these global headwinds, there were there is the cost of living crisis and you know, the entire knock on effects of the war in Ukraine that
all countries in Europe have had to deal with. But she accentuated all of those problems with this very disastrous budget, which you've reported on
extensively I know in your program. And then she dealt with the crisis within the Conservative Party incredibly badly.
So if she had carried on it would have just gone from bad to worse. And you can only imagine that Graham Brady, who represents the conservative
backbenchers in Parliament, went into Downing Street today. And said there is no option but for you to go.
But of course, this is a Conservative Party issue. They voted her in not very long ago. Based on that budget, they've now got to find, as you say, a
How do they find someone who is effectively a compromise between Rishi Sunak at one end of the party and Boris Johnson at the other end of the
party? Who can take the Conservative Party forward, and the country forward? I think most of the commentary I'm seeing from serious
commentators is the only option is for them.
If they can find someone within a week to install them and that person to announce a general election next week to at least get some credibility back
to the party. Because, you know, people are saying that the Conservative Party is dead at this point. There's nothing left to rebuild from.
But of course, they're going to put off a general election, aren't they? Because it will mean that many of those backbench MPs will lose their jobs.
CHATTERLEY: I mean there are a few things here that compromise, who is the compromise candidate; you've just pointed out the two extremes. And I'm
once again having been ousted by the party hounded, out of Downing Street actually Boris Johnson when are feasibly talking about him coming back.
And the other key word for me here is party, not people. And the people didn't get to say in Liz Truss. And actually, the only person that they did
vote into power into position in number 10 to make decisions for them is Boris Johnson.
Do you think he's going to be willing to come back for a short period of time in order just to call a general election? This is not a mess.
FOSTER: Yes, I'm sure he would. Issue there is that absolutely toxic atmosphere between his camp and Rishi Sunak's camp. I mean, utterly broke
down towards the end of his premiership was very much confirmed after Boris Johnson left.
So you won't have that Rishi Sunak side of the party involved unless Boris Johnson comes in and builds a Rishi Sunak cabinet. These are all the sorts
of things that are going to have to be discussing it could be seen as a temporary government. It could be Theresa May coming in as a care holder,
Prime Minister until they head towards a general election.
I don't think they're any good options here for the Conservative Party. But they're going to have to come up with something pretty quickly understand.
There's a 1922 backbench, Conservative Member of Parliament Committee meeting this afternoon and it's going to be really heated.
I mean, the scenes last night have to say, in parliament were totally unedifying. All discipline had broken down; people screaming and shouting
each other and backbench MPs were going on the BBC virtually in tears. So how do you rebuild within 24 hours to a situation where you throw your full
support behind the new candidate?
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and all while there are British people who are virtually in tears to with the challenges that they face. And actually having voted
in the government that they were hoping would improve their situation. And they're too busy in fighting, backbiting and, and creating scenes like last
Scott come in, and just discuss that just so that our viewers understand what happened last night in the House of Commons? And why we got to this
point in the last hour so with the situation becoming untenable for want to a better world.
MCLEAN: Yes, precisely. So the way that MPs voted in this country, they actually call it division because MPs are divided into those who are for
and those who are against a piece of legislation. And they each walk through separate doors into separate lobbies to register their vote either
for or against a piece of legislation.
So there was a motion put forward by the Labour Party to try to protect Britain's laws which severely restrict or ban fracking across the country.
Liz Truss very much wanted to rollback that laws to allow fracking in certain parts of the country. And so Conservative Party ordered their MPs
to vote with the government to vote against this legislation.
Despite the fact that many people were looking at their own constituencies and thinking, my people aren't going to like this. I don't really want to
vote for this. And so you had 33 Conservative MPs sitting on their hands, choosing not to vote at all.
But where the chaos came from is when is outside, according to opposition lawmakers outside of the no lobby. As it's called where they say that there
was bullying, there was shouting, there were some people being physically manhandled, to get into that lobby to actually register their vote against
the legislation. This is certainly not how Britain wants to show itself off to the rest of the world.
And that's what some of the commentary reflected afterwards that look, Britain is this sort of shining light of democracy for a lot of places in
this doesn't look a lot like democracy when people are being forced against their will. It seems to vote, not exactly how they want it. So the Speaker
of the House has announced an investigation into what happened.
But I think more broadly Julia, the fact that the Conservative Party does seem to be the final straw for the Conservative Party. They are already
deeply unpopular, if they an election were to be held today, they would be absolutely trounced by Labour. They would be getting half or even less than
half of what labor would rack up.
And I have to tell you, I was just at a senior center in South London, talking to normal people about the political crisis and about the cost of
living crisis. And, you know, one thing that one elderly woman told me in her late 70s, was that look, I just don't think these politicians live in
the real world when we're talking about the cost of living when we're talking about the cost of energy.
And she said, look, they need to come and talk to people like us who are counting every Pence and every Pound that we have to make their budgets
work every month. And you know, the common thing that I heard over and over again is look at these pensioners, people are drawing pension from the
MCLEAN: They used to have enough money every month is sort of go to the grocery store and buy whatever the heck they wanted. Now, they have to be a
whole heck of a lot more selective about that. And they think that the current political climate doesn't say much about what politicians think
And that was precisely the argument against getting rid of Liz Truss as Leader. The Foreign Secretary said just a few days ago, that look, if we're
going to spend the next few days trying to get rid of one Leader and pick a new Leader, it doesn't tell the British public that we're looking out for
them. It tells them that we're looking out for ourselves. But that's precisely what they've chosen to do, Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Absolutely, you had MP saying that as well that the party is making choices based on its own job prospects. And it is on the prospects
of the British people. Scott, I think your lady was quite diplomatic there, perhaps she should come in there give it a hand as being an MP try her hand
at being an MP.
Max, I want to bring you in again, because I think part of the chaos yesterday was whether or not this was being considered by the party itself
as a de facto confidence vote in Liz Truss as well. And it comes back to the point that you've made, which is critically important over the coming
days and the sheer divisions now in this party.
And whether or not the decision ultimately has to be, we actually deserve a period now in opposition. And deserve to go to an election and lose it. In
order to sort ourselves out and work out what the party stands for, and let someone else do their best for the British people.
FOSTER: On that confidence vote, it was meant to be a confidence vote, this fracking vote. So you know, even those against fracking were expected to
vote for it. And then last Minister stood at the dispatch box saying it wasn't a confidence vote, which is what caused all the chaos.
And then the whips and everyone else couldn't figure out whether or not it was or not. Which is why you had people being pushed around and pushed in a
direction they didn't necessarily want to go in? Because they didn't know what the rule was. And then we heard that Liz Truss sustained.
So that's the chaos from last night. I just had an email actually Julia from Ladbrokes, which is a betting company. And we're in the realms of
speculation here. So I thought I'd give you the runners and riders that they have lined up for who might take over from Liz Truss.
They've got Rishi Sunak at the top of the list, then Penny Mordaunt and then Ben Wallace, who's the Defense Secretary. Boris Johnson, the Chemi
Biden arc and then Michael Gove. And Michael Gove is an interesting one. He's always there isn't he?
He's the one that really started stirring the trouble up for Liz Truss at the Conservative Party Conference, undermining some of her policies. I
don't think he's going to be the Unity candidate that everyone's looking for. But he's always there in the list.
So it does look as though Rishi Sunak may have a chance here, if you can convince that Boris Johnson side of the party. Simply because he warned
that all of this was going to happen during the campaign for the Leadership, saying that Liz Truss's policies would have a knock on effect
for mortgage rates, for example.
So he's got that credibility, economic credibility out of all of this that may help. But I don't know how he then brings in Boris Johnson or gets
Boris Johnson perhaps that's what Boris Johnson needs to do and step up and show his support for Rishi Sunak. But it's very hard to imagine, isn't it?
CHATTERLEY: And Ben Wallace, of course, ruled himself out last time around has built up great credibility been incredibly strong in the situation in
Ukraine. As has the government, whoever's been in charge since the war broke out as well?
But perhaps he's a compromise candidate too but to your point, at this stage. Who knows, the Labour Party obviously stepping up and have
continually said a general election is required and the party said the same thing. I believe on Twitter and just the last few moments.
Much to discuss gentlemen, thank you so much, Max, Scott. We'll leave it there for now. OK, let's get some more contexts on this. Joining us now Mo
Hussein, Former Press Officer for 10 Downing Street, Moe, great to have you with us your observations?
MO HUSSEIN, FORMER 10 DOWNING STREET PRESS OFFICER: Well, what a tumultuous and messy few days we've seen in the U.K. with a third Prime Minister in
the space of a year, not something you'd expect to happen. In the U.K. at all, I worked in the U.K. Government for 10 years or so in. I can't
remember a single day like this.
And I think this now raises really big questions going forward. Because we have a very protracted Leadership contest of a week, which again, has never
happened before. There'll be various runners and riders.
And in a week's time, we'll have a new Prime Minister. But how long can this last without calls for a general election increasing, which they
already are? So I don't think that the turmoil and the lack of certainty is over yet.
CHATTERLEY: Who do you think steps up Mo? We were just talking with Max there about what Ladbrokes the brokers are saying and they're suggesting
that actually now perhaps is Rishi Sunak's time. What do you think?
HUSSEIN: I think that is likely scenario because if you look at what has happened, a lot of the economic policies that we are now hearing from our
new Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt are very much like the Rishi Sunak plan the things that he warned about when there was the battle between him and
Liz Truss over this summer. When he was criticizing her plans, the things you said would happen as a result of the plans is pretty much happening.
So he did get that right. And I think, you know, he has got the financial experience in the Treasury to help drive the economy forward. That is the
biggest challenge facing the country. But he's also a divisive figure; he is not liked by the people who support Boris Johnson.
There are quite a few of them still in Parliament; he did not win the members. And there's a question for the Conservative Party around. What
does this Leadership election actually look like?
Is it just MPs? Or do they somehow go back to the members, perhaps, in an online version. You go back to the members are not in the same place as the
CHATTERLEY: You know, in ordinary life, at work, there are people that you don't get on with. There are people that you don't like, there are people
whose personality does not agree with yours, or you don't agree with. And you know what you get on with it, and you do your job, and you take a
salary home, as best you can.
And I can't help but feel appalled for British voters as they look at this and say, you know what, I actually don't care if you like each other. I
don't care if your personalities don't work, or you disagree with each other. Make it work and come up with policies that are right and correct
for the British people.
And don't create the kind of financial instability that has a knock on effect and will have a knock on effect to the British public. Are they
capable of doing this? Or is actually the better option now for this party to go? You know what we've messed it up.
And perhaps we aren't deserving of the mandate that we were given not so long ago. To make these decisions, in the best interest of the country,
because right now, that's not what they're doing. Are they big enough to make that decision do you think?
HUSSEIN: Well, I think the jury's out on that. There are some people in the party who have come to that conclusion.
HUSSEIN: Because you have to, essentially, you have to govern from the center ground. So what we got from Liz Truss was quite libertarian way of
doing things, which actually in reality.
CHATTERLEY: Mo, I'm just going to have to cut in here. Because Graham Brady, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee is speaking. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM BRADY, CHAIRMAN OF 1922 COMMITTEE: Clearly, and quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not just be a general election continued, isn't about isn't? Well, they definitely be two candidates going forward to
BRADY: The party's rules say there will be two candidates unless there is only one candidate. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if somebody drops out, you could
BRADY: If there was only one candidate there is anyone can do it. I really can't give you any more detail now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This contest, truncate it to one week was it Liz Truss's idea or --.
BRADY: I think it's a matter of which there was a pretty bold consensus.
Thank you. Sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: The Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, not giving much detail on who and how the process of choosing the next Leader of the
country. Will be taken within the next week challenging situation? And it sounds like quite frankly, they don't know what they're going to do.
He was asked whether it was Liz Truss's idea to take it and make this decision in one week. He wouldn't answer the question as you can see
relative degrees of chaos at this moment within the Conservative Party.
We're now joined by conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, let's get his take. Tobias, great to have you with us! It sounded like chaos. It's been chaos
for several weeks. What do you make of what we've seen in the last 24 hours?
TOBIAS ELLWOOD, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Yes, and it has been extraordinary events. And it's not what we normally do. The Conservative Party is
normally calm and collected. We exhibit fiscal responsibility.
But it has been quite chaotic since the departure of Boris Johnson party gate you'll remember and so forth. But the mechanics in which we chose this
last Leadership, went well went through it for Liz Truss. Did mean that we chose somebody that wanted to take the party in a very new direction to
experiment, if you like, with our economy?
And that experiment did not work and the backlash we've seen build up, we departed from the 2019 manifesto. Here we are again now choosing a new
CHATTERLEY: I mean there'll be people watching this I think going hang on a second. It hasn't just been a number of months we've had the Brexit
referendum, we've had the mess over trying to agree a deal with Brexit, we've had party politics and personality politics with Boris.
CHATTERLEY: He was ousted now we've got the situation. There are plenty of people I think that will be looking at this situation. And I think the
British polls actually reflect this that say, kind of had your chance and you've blown, it quite frankly. And now we need to go to a general
election. How do you respond?
ELLWOOD: Yes, let's take those into two parts. I mean, firstly, the call of a general election; we have a different system here to that in the United
States. We don't elect a President or Prime Minister, you elect the party, you elect somebody, and you know a party that's going to then lead the
And it's up to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister to be selected by the membership or indeed by the parliamentarians themselves. But you're right;
we shouldn't be going through this process again, so quickly. And you touched on something, which is the history.
I think we have lost our way a little bit since the referendum back in 2016. We're not playing the role that we used to play on the international
stage, with the world getting more dangerous, not less; it's been very, very difficult. Indeed, we've taken our eye off the ball.
And we've been divided not just as a country. But indeed, as a party, as well, we'll be looking for a unity candidate to check ourselves out, get
ourselves sorted, provide some form of fiscal direction.
But also to lead in on things like Ukraine, working with our closest ally, the United States making sure that we can answer some of those big issues
that are affecting us on the international stage. But right now, yes, it looks very distracting, it looks all very ill disciplined. And we've got to
draw a line.
CHATTERLEY: You raise a great point, which is it's not actually just about the domestic situation and fighting for better situations and conditions
for the British public. It is the importance of what Great Britain used to represent.
I think, on the world stage and has continued to do so as far as the war in Ukraine is concerned. But I can only think about what authoritarian Leaders
and dictators around the world are thinking as they look at the chaos in the United Kingdom at this moment, Tobias who is that unity candidate that
you mentioned? Is it Boris?
ELLWOOD: Well, it certainly won't be Boris Johnson, he will not be I don't think for different reasons that there won't be the caucus enough to
support him. Our party, like many parties across the world is divided has its own groupings. I'm a centrist member of the one nation group that is
the more, right wing ERG group.
It's got to be somebody that's going to bring those factions all together. We think we actually represent ourselves best and govern best when we
represent all the strengths of our party. You go back to Margaret Thatcher, and there'll be names like Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine there on the
left of the party.
And then Norman Tebbit and Nigel Lawson, on the right of the party she brought together all the big beasts, all the strengths, that's what we need
to do again. But go back if I may, to that other point.
It isn't just Britain that I think has slipped back a bit and watching what's going on the international stage. We'll lacking a sense of
collective purpose of what the West Stands for, what we believe in, what we're willing to defend and adversaries across the world and taking
advantage of that.
I would argue the tipping point, perhaps in global liberalism. After the Second World War was when we departed from Afghanistan. And I think that's
was the indicator for Putin to start advancing his interest in Eastern Europe.
CHATTERLEY: Can't argue with that. Kier Starmer Leader of the Opposition Labor Party just tweeted, after 12 years of Tory failure, the British
people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. We need a general election now.
Tough to disagree with that as well, in terms of the revolving door to bias you would expect the Leader of the Opposition to be called in.
ELLWOOD: We can't - because labor lost a series of elections in those 12 years. So you can't say that, you know, we've lost the mandate. We've also
had things like COVID to deal with; we touched on the difficult issues of Brexit.
And then of course, there's Ukraine as well. This all came about because of this economic experiment. This sort of Von Hayek approach to dealing with
our economy you've set it in the states with sort of trickle-down economics.
It was never going to work. The International headwinds were too strong for Britain's economy. And I'm glad we're seeing the reset being pressed on
that front. But ultimately, yes, we've got to put our hand up another Prime Minister, another election is a massive distraction when we should be
focusing on domestic matters and indeed international as well.
CHATTERLEY: And they may have lost elections, but the revolving door I guess we could focus in on the Leadership and the person who's sitting in
number 10 Downing Street. Can you hand on heart say that Kier Starmer would not be a better option? Then whoever the Conservative Party continues to
replace or put in or replace in number 10 Downing Street?
ELLWOOD: Well, let's be frank. I'm not quite sure what Kier Starmer stands for. He hasn't rolled out his policies yet. Opposition parties tend not to
do that until closer to the general election.
Don't forget, it's only quite recently that they got rid of Jeremy Corbyn; he was very much a socialist. He wanted to leave NATO.
ELLWOOD: I mean some of the policies that were being projected at the last general election was quite dangerous indeed. And he still has that drag
anchor the left of his party to deal with as well. Clearly, they're enjoying the difficulties that we're in now.
We've got to shake up; we got to provide some form of collective unity, rally around a new Prime Minister. And make sure that we've got an offering
that will work. We've got two years to get this right.
The general election isn't going to happen immediately. And we've got to correct this. But yes, this doesn't look good.
CHATTERLEY: Tobias, you're making a lot of sense to me? Are you tempted to throw your hat in the ring?
ELLWOOD: Well, it's very kind of you to say so. For me, I was in the armed forces. You don't normally try and be a general before you've been a
colonel. I'm still at the rank of Major if you'd like in my political career.
I got a little bit experienced; I think to gain before I'm going to throw my hat in the ring. I think we're looking for somebody who stood before I
think we're for honest. So there's a few candidates that you'll be familiar with, that are part of the last process.
They're the ones that we'll be looking for. We've only got a week to do this. And this is a curtail contest we're going to see. So it's we're very
CHATTERLEY: To your point, the party is looking for a Leader. And they seem hard to come by not just in this country. Tobias great to chat to you,
thank you! Tobias Ellwood, MP. OK, straight ahead, our continuing coverage of the resignation of U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back and recapping our top story the resignation of the British Prime Minister Liz Truss. Speaking in the last hour she said she'd
notified the King that she's resigning as Leader of the Conservative Party.
She said a Leadership election will be completed in the next week to maintain economic stability and national security. Anna Stewart joins us
now on this Anna always interesting in these moments to take a look at financial markets particularly in the U.K. after what we've seen over the
last few weeks.
And fascinating to see that Investors seem to be saying next and actually compared to what we've seen don't care what you do as long as you don't do
crazy things with the economy.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, it's quite depressing really isn't if we look at the British pound is has been strengthened by this news about half
a percentage point higher today. But really the big news came on Monday when Jeremy Hunt
STEWART: List of the Chancellor's essentially reverses Liz Truss's major, major plans in terms of tax cutting and spending. And I think that's what
markets wanted to see. We're actually at $1.13 on Monday. So we're actually off those highs.
And it's a similar story if we look for market reaction in terms of UK government bonds, and that was one of the big issues we had in the early
days of the so called mini budget that really tore shreds off of this government. So they also similar story on Monday, we saw them lower.
So the 10 year had touched 4.5 percent in recent weeks, the - 5 percent, both now below 4 percent. But really, the big reaction was on Monday, I
question how much confidence any investor could have in the UK government right now, given the revolving door of Chancellor's and Prime Ministers?
And I'm not sure who's going to believe what at this stage. I think it'll be interesting to see when we get a fuller picture on the fiscal statement,
the never ending fiscal statement, the date still set for the end of October Halloween, when we get to decide or get to see whether or not these
books will be balanced?
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Another perhaps inappropriate choice of day, quite frankly, yes, the compromise candidate going to be key. And of course,
that's why they're moving so quickly, to find somebody to lead the party because they want to stick to that timeline. Anna Stewart thank you so much
for that! Alright still to come more on our breaking news from the UK as Liz Truss resigns, as Prime Minister.
CHATTERLEY: The British Prime Minister has resigned after a chaotic six weeks in office. Liz Truss will remain in Downing Street until a successor
is chosen she delivered this statement a short while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUSS: I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their
bills. Putin's illegal war on Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent and our country has been held back for too long by low economic
TURSS: I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills along cutting national insurance. And we
set out a vision for a low tax high growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.
I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to
His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as Leader of the Conservative Party.
This morning, I met the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We've agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed
within the next week. This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country's economic stability and national
security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Kier Starmer, tweeted after 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much
better than this revolving door of chaos. We need a general election. And now you'd expect that of course from the Leader of the Opposition and
streaking ahead in recent polls, however.
Let me bring in Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, I think the key word there is failure, and the failure of the British people and the failure of any
kind of sustainability of leadership for the Conservative Party and for the public.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well look, on every measure, whether it's the economy, I mean, Britain just left its perch as
the fifth biggest economy in the G7 in the world, has lost that position. We haven't seen the kind of growth in Britain, as we've seen in other G7
and European nations that has not been actualized.
As she said, the promise of more freedoms from Brexit, it just hasn't happened in an economically, you know, an economically positive way for the
UK. It has not struck out any of those free trade deals, notably with the United States, and not even with India, which was a very central plank, not
with Europe, even. So those things are big issues.
And what we had was this sort of very closed, almost two person mini budget, that did not pass the stress test of the, you know, of all the sort
of various organizations that are mentors crunched the data before it gets put into the public.
And that's where this whole crisis essentially exploded, because the very minute that Kwasi Kwarteng, her first Chancellor, put this out, it started
a whole sort of, you know, catastrophe that has ended up where we are right now.
Now, for instance, you know that there is reaction coming in, certainly from fellow G7 leaders, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has said
that he hopes that for the good of the world and for good of Europe, that their stability in Britain are very, very soon. He said, on a personal
level as a colleague, I hate to see one leave.
President Biden, we know the U.S. Administration is watching this very, very closely, very unusually, President Biden, actually last weekend on a
campaign stop in an ice cream store, where he was paying for ice cream using that imagery to essentially cast severe doubt on the you know, Liz
Truss's economic policies.
Before that he said that the idea of trickle down doesn't work. And I spoke to the Head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, at the UNGA, in September.
Three days, two or three days before the mini budget was proposed. And even then, she said, the most diplomatic way she could, that this was simply a
measure that would increase inequality, and could even lead to instability and unrest on the streets.
You know, that's a big, big comment, even before this budget was made public and then afterwards, you know that the IMF intervened even further.
So we're in a very, very tricky situation with no actual knowledge of how this so called leadership election is going to proceed within a week, given
that the one that brought Liz Tuss to power took about two months.
CHATTERLEY: He raised so many important points in that. I mean, I believe average real wages in the UK, so that's inflation adjusted are below where
they were in 2007. And before the Brexit referendum, the UK economy was 90 percent of the size of Germany's and now it's 70 percent of the size of
Germany's which just gives you a sense of how this party has managed the economy over the past few years not that it hasn't been externally
challenged admittedly as well as internally.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think it ends up in a general election? Christiane, given all your experience of political turmoil outside of the United
Kingdom and within is that the only option really here?
AMANPOUR: Well look, clearly the opposition thinks so and it is way ahead in the polls, some 30 plus points. But we've also heard from the Leader of
Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. We've also heard from the Liberal Democrats, the other opposition party, but more we've also heard from, you know, the sort
of usual and unusual suspects.
We've heard that there is a distinct lack of democracy about this process, because whether it was the leadership election, which is just a small
fraction of the electorate, it's really a paid up members, it's the base, and even not even they all, you know, voted for her.
Many voted for her opponents in that leadership election. She got the most but nonetheless, she didn't get the whole lot. And you know there hasn't
been a general election to get the people's buys in to this kind of radical economic transformation that Liz Truss alone with Kwasi Kwarteng we
understand, drummed up and dreamed up and presented.
With apparently no thought for what markets would do, and what people would think? Let's get back to the people who are saying every day if you listen
to any of the call-in radios across the land, it is a deep, deep worry about mortgages, where they have roof over their head this coming winter,
would they be able to pay for food?
Would they have to make choices between how they have their families survive? I mean, we're talking about a G7 country in the midst of have a
deep, deep problem in terms of austerity, which may come back and a real impact on people.
And on top of that, the budget actually penalized ordinary people, and actually, with the taxes that they didn't, then did a U-turn on, actually
took, you know, took the side of the ridge. And nobody really wanted it. And you know, and then we had the Bank of England do what he did with his
interest rates to try to balance the situation.
And that has really hurt people when it comes to real life, you know, bread and butter and paying for your rent and your mortgages.
CHATTERLEY: And that's who put them in power in the first place to make the decisions that - and in the mandate that they with the mandate that they
were given? Yes, highest inflation in the G7 lowest growth somehow got to try and fix it. Christiane, always great to speak to you thank you so much!
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you. I want to bring in Richard Krasner, who I know is listening to that. Richard, it's hard to argue its utter chaos and it's a
mess. Where do you see this headed?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Initially, of course, the big question is, I mean - let us just take the fact she's gone. So the number one issue is how
are the Tories going to elect a new leader who will de facto then become the new Prime Minister? How are they going to do it in a week when the Tory
rules require complex procedures of MPs and then the membership?
And the one thing they want to avoid, of course, is the membership having to have a vote in this because the membership are the ones who made this
mess in the first place, in their view by electing Liz Truss. So they've got to square this circle before they do anything else Julia.
It's how do you physically elect a new leader when the existing rules don't accommodate it? They'll jump - they'll be able to do that by fudging
changing amending and just basically ignoring so they will get that done. And then you've got who's it going to be? Safe pair of hands or most
certainly, it will be a big name, safe pair of hands, somebody who will probably Rishi Sunak who will stabilize the ship.
There is no look, one is tempted Julia to think oh, my goodness, you know, poor woman Liz Truss who's had all this dumped. But she and the Chancellor
brought this upon themselves. Three weeks ago, they introduced this mini budget, as if it was a bit of light housekeeping, a bit of accounting,
don't look here, nothing to see it was a major shift in UK fiscal policy.
And they did it without discussing it with the cabinet without proper discussion in in Treasury without the Bank of England and without the OPR.
So the mess that has been created is entirely one of the Prime Minister's own making.
CHATTERLEY: I was about to say zero sympathy Richard unfortunately, notwithstanding the dramatic issues that any leader faces, external and
internal. To your point it wasn't a case of nothing to see here don't look it was it we're not going to let you look here? We're hiding it and we're
going to present something that no one's had a chance to look at.
CHATTERLEY: I think it's a mix of arrogance and incompetence, quite frankly. And I couldn't agree more with you on the challenges of coming up
with someone in a week. The question is, is that really a unity candidate?
And I think, to your point, and I think you've already said it really is, is Rishi Sunak the only option perhaps irrespective of who likes him and
who doesn't, because financial markets have shown that if they don't like what you're doing the punishment, and then the punishment on the British
people is severe.
QUEST: Right. Well, first of all, I would imagine, Sunak is by far and away, way up in front. But you've also got Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor.
He's already done a phenomenally good job in the markets view of creating an air of stability.
Ditching her entitled, most of her economic platform has given him already credibility. I don't see the outgoing Home Secretary as a major runner, but
believe me, don't - you're looking for a unity candidate, as you said, Julia, but unity now means something different.
It means somebody who is acceptable to everybody who can save seats, give stability and save seats at the next election. And that's what you're
really about. No, this is Titanic time. The Conservative Party is going down in the polls.
And now what you're really doing is trying to move the deck chairs round and potentially get as many of their MPs into lifeboats for when there is a
future general election. As for your general election question, since the repeal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, the there is really only two ways
that an election can now be called.
One the new Prime Minister goes to the King and says, I think there should be an election or two; they lose a vote of confidence in the House. There
is no way they can lose a vote of confidence in a sense, because with a new leader, existing MPs, Tory MPs, most certainly won't be turkeys voting for
Christmas. They will want to give the new leader as long as possible to try and refloat the Titanic if they can, or she can.
CHATTERLEY: I'm happy to leave the government rearranging those deck chairs while they get the British citizens and the people into the lifeboats
Richard at this moment, which is also what they need to focus on. Great to have you with us as always Richard Quest there, thank you! We'll have more
coverage after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! Recapping our breaking news from London, Liz Truss announcing just over an hour ago that she's resigning as UK Prime
Minister making her the UK's shortest serving head of government. She says the Conservative Party will hold a leadership election to be completed
within the next week.
Yes, you heard me correctly. And she will remain in office until then. Anna Stewart joins us once again. Anna great to have you back with us! Let's
just map out as people digest what happened today the coming days. This is a party that now has seven days by their own mandate to come up with a new
leader. What are we expecting?
STEWART: I mean it really feels like deja vu. Who is going to be the next Prime Minister of the UK? And the selection of candidates looking at the
Conservative Party it's actually quite small, I'd say. I think we'll see familiar faces being thrown into the ring as we had last time I think Rishi
Sunak is probably a major contender.
He was, in many ways the exact opposite of Liz Truss. And perhaps that is what people want to see now. There's also of course, Jeremy Hunt. Now he's
gained a lot of confidence, particularly with the public by taking over as Chancellor and just frankly, ripping up the mini budget that caused so much
Of course, at this stage, it does sound like Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out of the job. I would suggest that major reason would be that surely he
has to stay as Chancellor, we can't have another Chancellor within the next couple of weeks and the ever of revolving door of Chancellors that we've
In terms of the markets and investment, I think we really do need to see one Chancellor stick to the job. And we have that fiscal statement coming
up on the 31st. That maybe leaves us with Penny Mordant as well, Leader of the Commons at the moment.
She ran for leadership against Truss and Sunak before she has been what she did eventually throw her hat in with Liz Truss when she gets to down for
the leadership contest. So it's possible we see her that in there as well.
What will be really hard though is uniting the party and instilling any confidence at this stage because you can see the Conservative Party in some
ways is a little bit tribalistic at this stage. I was speaking to a Conservative MP who wanted Rishi Sunak to be the Prime Minister in recent
And he criticized Liz Truss for selecting a cabinet when she became Prime Minister that was very much in her camp. And ideally, we'd see a cabinet
that has representatives from all sort of across the spectrum of the Conservative Party. That's possibly the only way that the next government
will actually see it through to the next general election.
Which brings me to plenty of people in the UK would like to see a general election at this stage. The UK economy is of course, like many economies
around the world facing major challenges. And at the moment, the decisions are being made by Prime Ministers that the public has not voted for.
And I think in any situation, you would see huge pressure on a government when people are facing a cost of living crisis that is just deepening week
by week. At this stage I think the only support they would get is from a general election.
CHATTERLEY: I think at the stage where democracy has you manhandling people in order to make a vote, the time for any form of tribalism is over but we
shall see. It's going to be an interesting few days. Anna Stewart, thank you so much for that. And our coverage of the decision by the UK Prime
Minister Liz Truss to resign continues after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the breaking news coverage out of London. The Liz Truss era, ending less than two months after it began. The Prime
Minister Liz Truss announcing on her 45th day in office that she's resigning, making her the shortest serving Prime Minister in British
history Truss was unable to regain the trust of conservatives after the disastrous rollout of her tax cutting plan that triggered a dramatic sell
off in UK financial assets.
The big questions now that's next as Conservative Leader and whether or not a general election may be close stay with CNN for more of this breaking
news coverage. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is up next.