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Isa Soares Tonight
Liz Truss Resigns As British Prime Minister; Macron: France Hopes For Stability For Britain; Iran Continues To Crack Down On Anti-Government Protesters; Ukraine Appeals For International Help With Power Infrastructure; Liz Truss Resigns U.K. Premiership; London Mayor Sadiq Khan Calls For General Election In U.K.; U.K.-Italy Comparison Sparks Outrage Among Italians. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired October 20, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares and I'm live once again outside the houses of
parliament, where the British government has been plunged into chaos yet again, as Prime Minister Liz Truss resigns, making her the shortest-serving
U.K. leader in history after surviving -- get this, only 44 days in office. Speaking to the country earlier, she says she accepts she no longer had a
mandate to lead. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: 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)
SOARES: Now, Truss says she will remain, as you heard there at Number 10 Downing Street until her successor is chosen, which looks set to be pretty
soon. CNN's Scott McLean joins me now from 10 Downing Street. So, Scott, talk us through the choreography of what we can expect in the days ahead
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, frankly, we could have a prime minister as soon as Monday, if all of the chips fall into place for that
scenario. So, basically, the chair of the 1922 Committee of back-benchers and the chalk(ph) party chairman today outlined the rules of how leadership
race will work. A very expedited leadership race.
And so, all of the nominees need to be in by Monday afternoon. And so, they have the next three full days in order to try to get enough support from
their fellow MPs to actually get on any kind of ballot. But the bar, frankly, is high. We're talking about the support of 100 MPs that any
leadership candidate will need to be even considered.
So, given that there are 300 some odd conservative MPs right now, potentially there could be up to three candidates. It is a high threshold,
considering the fact that in the first round of voting in the leadership race in the Summer, nobody reached 100 votes in the first round of voting.
It wasn't until the second round of voting that Rishi Sunak reached 100.
And then, it wasn't until four rounds later when Liz Truss reached a 100, and then in the end, there was only three candidates whoever got the
support of 100 MPs. Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt. So now, there are plenty of questions about who might actually be able to reach
that threshold this time around.
Surely, some of the more minor, less experienced candidates may not put their names forward. They may opt back other candidates. But surely, this
is setting up to favor candidates like Rishi Sunak, like potentially Penny Mordaunt, perhaps not Boris Johnson, if the talk of his potential return to
politics or attempted return to politics, or the leadership, I should say, are actually true.
Now, if they actually do get more than one candidate to reach that initial threshold, this is not a coronation on Monday. Then if they get down to two
candidates, then that should go to a vote amongst the membership.
But given that we're on such a shortened timeline, Isa, that brings up all kinds of potential questions about how to reach voters that the party may
not actually have an e-mail address or any kind of electronic communications with. And also, about the security of voting online. Here's
what the party chair said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE BERRY, CHAIRMAN, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY: We are all satisfied that the online voting system will be secure. All efforts will be made
including outreach to members who don't have e-mail address or members who are unable to vote online.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Now, the party chair and the chair of that committee of backbenchers was also asked whether or not the high threshold of 100 MPs
was meant to perhaps keep Boris Johnson off the ballot. And the answer to that was, look, the threshold is surely reachable by any serious candidate
with any kind of real chance of moving on to the next round.
And of course, Boris Johnson may struggle to get to a 100 if, in fact, he did put his name forward. And there's no positive affirmation that he
But whether he might be able to do better amongst the vote of party members is a totally different story. Isa?
SOARES: Yes, and as you were talking, Scott, I believe I could hear Tories out being chanted behind you. And that really gives our viewers around the
world a sense of really the displeasure because we've had, what? Three prime ministers in the last -- less than in a year or so. Talk to us about
the mood of the party and what the opposition is saying here, and whether what the likelihood is here for a general election.
MCLEAN: Sure, so yes. There are protesters outside the gates of 10 Downing Street. There aren't that many of them at this point, frankly. But they do
have a loudspeaker, and so that's why you can hear them chanting over and over again, Tories out. And perhaps, that chant over and over again is
reflective of how the country is feeling about the Conservative Party at this point.
Their popularity is extremely low. If a general election were to be held today, they would be absolutely trounced by the Labor Party. Labor is
pulling, at least, with twice the support that the Conservatives actually have. And so, that's why the Labor Party is calling for a general election,
saying that the conservatives no longer have a mandate to actually govern the country.
The difficulty for the conservatives is that there's really no incentive for them to actually call a general election at this stage, given the
disarray that the party is in right now. And given the fact that they're just about to sign on a brand new leader. Surely, they would want to have
some time to get their house in order before going anywhere near a general election, Isa.
SOARES: Yes, there's a party that doesn't want to give up power. But it's also very clearly, as we've seen, pretty incompetent in staying in power.
Scott McLean there for us, really appreciate it, thank you very much, Scott. We were talking there about the -- Britain's opposition Labor Party
leader, Keir Starmer calling for that general election. Of course, have a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOR PARTY LEADER: Tory Party is doing a huge damage to our economy and to the reputation of our country. And the public
are paying with higher prices, with higher mortgages. So, we can't have a revolving door of chaos. We can't have another experiment at the top of the
Tory Party. There's an alternative, and that's a stable Labor government. And the public are entitled to have their say, and that's why there should
be a general election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, let's get more reaction on the political turmoil here in the U.K. Joining me now is a former conservative MP, Alistair Burt. And
Alistair, great to have you on the show. I was hoping I wouldn't have to speak to you so soon. We spoke not so long ago out here. Your -- first,
your sense of what is really unfolded in the last week or so.
ALISTAIR BURT, FORMER BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Well, it is extraordinary. I don't think we've got any contemporary comparison with the speed of
decline of a newly-elected prime minister elected in the most difficult economic circumstances, but then a series of mistakes compounded that. And
as Scott was rightfully suggesting, a sense of real chaos in parliament yesterday, and a need for stability to come very rapidly to the situation
I'm afraid the premiership of Miss Truss only had one possible end over the last couple of weeks. It was clear, and now the Conservative Party must
work extremely hard to regain any sort of reputation with the British public at all.
SOARES: And how do they go about doing that? Because obviously, I mean, from what I've heard from people, the credibility of the Conservative Party
is very much at stake here. So, what do you foresee in the next few days then, Alistair?
BURT: The credibility of the Conservative Party on economics has certainly been shredded and its reputation for good governance. So, it is right that
the election process will be very quick. As Scott was saying, if there's only one nomination that comes through by Monday, there will be a new prime
minister by Monday. But that seems unlikely.
There are strong candidates, and they're unlikely at a very early stage, simply, to walk away and give it to somebody else. That may happen during
the course of next week, so as to present just one candidate after MPs have had a round of voting and have made their own decision, one candidate may
But then, the real job to be done is to set about economic recovery and confidence in the economy. That is what sunk Prime Minister Truss'
government. People in the United Kingdom, are worried.
They're worried about their mortgage rates, they're worried about inflation, and what they will want a new prime minister to do is
demonstrate that he or she has a grip of the economy, appoints a good chancellor, in which they have confidence, and that the market shows their
confidence, and there's some stability to allow the government to tackle the economic challenges.
That's the recipe for some degree of success in the next few weeks.
SOARES: And Jeremy Hunt too, I believe has ruled himself out, he seems to have brought some sort of stability after that mini budget that we saw left
the markets very much in disarray. If I bring up some of the names that could be throwing their hats in the ring, talk of Boris Johnson perhaps,
it's speculation for now returning, Rishi Sunak. Who do you think has the best chance here, Alistair, of being the next PM?
BURT: I think it's very unlikely that Boris Johnson will get the support from colleagues. And the circumstances in which he left should not be
romanticized or recently forgotten. And I think it's very difficult for the party to look back. I think it's much better to look forward. There's a
couple of very strong candidates, Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor, Penny Mordaunt, who is currently the leader of the House of Commons, both secured
well over 100 votes from each -- from the last leadership election.
Both have good, strong reputations. One is particularly strong in economics with Rishi Sunak, but Penny Mordaunt has had some extremely good
performances in the House of Commons, lifted the morale of her colleagues, and may provide a very strong challenge, as a potential leader. So, I think
it will revolve around those people, a possible outsider is the home secretary, Suella Braverman, who represents very much the far-right of the
parliamentary party and conservative membership.
So, I think colleagues will probably be wary promoting someone like that to the leadership, and possibly can be bad luck, who did very well. She's now
the business -- International Trade Minister, and she had a very good go at being leader from a start. She's quite a young, relatively new member of
parliament. So, there are some candidates to come forward.
SOARES: Yes, of course, remember, Suella Braverman yesterday, of course, writing that stinging letter. Alistair, really appreciate you taking the
time to speak to us. Alistair Burt there.
BURT: Good to speak to you --
SOARES: Thank you --
BURT: I'm sure there will be another one coming along soon, Isa.
SOARES: Oh, let's hope not.
Lovely to see you, though. France is facing meanwhile its own woes at home. A troubled economy, strikes as well as fuel shortages. But French President
Emmanuel Macron is acknowledging the turmoil in U.K. leadership. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): France, as a nation and as a people who are friends of the British people. Wishes above
all for stability in the context that we know, which is the context of war, of energy tensions and bigger crisis. It is important that the U.K. quickly
regains political stability. This is all I want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And Liz Truss, of course, has resigned while there is a war going on in Europe. That much you know. The United Kingdom is the leader of
Europe, even if not member, of course, of the EU, and the country is rudderless in this critical moment when Russian aggression has reached a
level not seen, really, since the cold war.
A full perspective on this, let's bring in Nic Robertson, CNN's international diplomatic editor, who is in Kyiv for us tonight. And Nic,
you know, what we all need, not just markets, but really everyone right now is stability, given what is unfolding in Ukraine. How is this -- you know,
this move really that we've seen here by Liz Truss, do you think may affect that stability?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think from Ukraine's perspective, there is a hope for that return of stability, but also
continuity. And there was of course, continuity in the relationship between the U.K. and Ukraine from Boris Johnson. He had a very strong relationship
with President Zelenskyy, he visited here twice, and the continuity came really in the form of -- Ben Wallace; the Defense Secretary, Johnson's
Defense Secretary became Truss' Defense Secretary.
And of course, you know, Wallace just in the United States talking with partners over there about the situation in Ukraine. So, the commitment from
the British government has been there. But the stability of the British government to have influence with friends and allies and partners in
Europe is a concern.
And I think that's what was reflected by President Macron. Not just the concern that political instability leads to economic instability, which
leads to potential spillover and negative effects on the rest of -- on the rest of Europe, which has been a very real concern. But that great need at
the moment to work together to support Ukraine.
And it doesn't appear to be in a change of that -- a change of that at the moment. But of course, when your allies and partners have been worried by
the direction of things that have been happening, as they have since 2016 in the Brexit vote, and then you get further into the difficulties
The government that Johnson made to Johnson to Truss, the state of relations with the European Union. It all undermines that impression that
Britain is a reliable and steady ally. And it takes time to win that back. President Biden described Liz Truss as a good partner, but he didn't like
her economic plan. He thought it was a mistake.
He said that just at the weekend. But the relationship between the countries remain. But you have to have a leadership that's not going to the
polls or trying to find from its membership a new leader at a time when you need continuity, dealing with very real threats and problems that are
escalating here, that Russia is escalating in Ukraine, almost day by day. The situation has changed in Ukraine dramatically over the past fortnight.
A British government that's stable is in a much better position to deal with the turmoil here.
SOARES: Yes, stability and continuity is so important, given what we have seen. And what you and I have been discussing, Nic, for over two weeks,
really, with this onslaught, this barrage of strikes on infrastructure in Ukraine. Give us a sense of what's been happening in Ukraine there today.
ROBERTSON: There is a real sense that this change in Russia's level and style of aggression to target power plants over the past 10 or 11 days is
beginning to bite into the country's ability to provide electricity for everyone. Today was the first day where there were blackouts in some parts
of the country that the government had to institute, to make sure that it could sort of balance the load of remaining electricity capacity that it
The message from government officials was, make sure you have water stored up because of course, that's being affected by lack of electricity, to make
sure you've got blankets and warm socks, to make sure that your phone is charged, to make sure that you've got power banks that are charged up. The
government is making it very clear to people, take responsibility, turn the lights off, don't use equipment that draws a lot of -- a lot of power.
We need to conserve what we have, and people are respecting that. But you heard from -- we heard from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here today, an
appeal to the international community as well for support and help, and helping keep the electricity supplies going.
There will come a point if this barrage continues, and Ukraine cannot repair at the rate that Russia is destroying, where the electricity-
generating capacity will get beyond the phase of controlled blackouts, where it is right now. And that's the big worry here.
SOARES: Nic Robertson for us there in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks very much, Nic, good to see you. And still to come here tonight, reaction to political
upheaval and that dangerous global climate. I'll speak to the Lithuanian foreign minister about sanctioning Iran, standing up to Putin, and about
Liz Truss' exit, that is next.
SOARES: Now, we'll have much more on our top story, Liz Truss' resignation of course in just a moment. But now I want to look at another headline
we've been following here on CNN. We are learning chilling new details about Iran's brutal tactics in trying to keep anti-government protesters
off the streets.
CNN talked to some protesters who said they've been stalked, beaten, even tortured for days, and yet, they have refused to have their voices
silenced. Jomana Karadsheh has a report -- and we're not identifying the protests because of course, of safety concerns.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The desperate struggle to break free tells of the cruelty that awaits. It's not
just to escape, it's to survive, to stay alive. So many Iranians know all too well the path to which this will lead. A hell on earth for those who
dare to dissent.
It's the repressive regime's playbook, tried and tested time and time again. This 29-year-old protester says he was detained this month and
injured four days of torture by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Somebody started kicking, punching our stomach area, putting our heads in buckets of water so we couldn't
breathe, and beating us with a belt, hose and electric shockers.
KARADSHEH: He claims he was coerced into signing a confession saying he was paid by the U.S., U.K. and Israeli governments to quote, "create chaos
in Iran". He's been left with minor scars that are healing, but what we don't see may never heal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nowadays, I don't have much sleep. I have nightmares most of the time. In my nightmares, I see someone is following me in the
dark and I'm alone, and no one is helping me.
KARADSHEH: And he says the authorities still stalk him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I received a phone call from an unknown number that I'm active on Twitter, he threatened me and my family, saying if you don't
stop, they will arrest me. And that I know what's awaiting me.
KARADSHEH: It's a pattern of oppression that's played out before. In 2019, the world saw how far the state would go to crush those rising up.
Farhad(ph), a father of two tells CNN he watched several of his friends gunned down on the streets back then. Weeks later, the authorities came for
He says he was dragged from his home in the middle of the night and taken to what he describes as a regime torture chamber for 16 days of horrors and
beatings that left him beyond recognition.
(on camera): We've reviewed some of the horrific photos of Farhad's(ph) injuries, to protect his identity, we're not showing those images and his
scars. He's had several reconstructive surgeries that have patched his jaw back together, but Iranian authorities haven't left him alone. He says they
freeze his bank account at times and call threatening to kill his children and rape his wife.
(voice-over): It's all part of the disturbing playbook that several protesters CNN spoke with have experienced firsthand. They're watched
through CCTV cameras and by state-sponsored hackers online.
SOARES: Well, we asked the Iranian government about these firsthand accounts of barbarity detention, torture and harassment of protesters, as
well as the widespread violations documented by human rights organizations, but did not respond to our request for comment. We'll stay on top of that
story for you.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister is condemning attacks on Israeli soldiers by Jewish settlers in the West Bank, calling the settlers,
dangerous criminals. The IDF says the soldiers tried to break up settlers who had hurled rocks to Palestinian vehicles, then came under attack
Settlers in a nearby junction also attacked soldiers with pepper spray. Settle of violence against Palestinians has been escalating in the West
Bank. On Wednesday, if you remember, Israeli and Palestinian activists really helping Palestinians harvest their olive, say settlers threw rocks
and beat them with sticks leaving six people injured.
And still to come here tonight, barely in the door before she's out again. A retrospective on the shortest U.K. premiership ever. Liz Truss' career in
a nutshell, that's next.
SOARES: Welcome back everyone. It's almost 7:30 here in London. We're coming to you live outside the houses of parliament. And in case you missed
it, well, Liz Truss; the British Prime Minister, she has resigned earlier today, becoming the shortest prime minister here in the U.K. in history.
And Britain's neighbors, because of this are watching very closely what is happening now on Downing Street as they try to elect, of course, a prime
The U.K.'s political upheaval comes as Europe as a whole faces historic crisis including crippling fuel shortages that's been caused by a brutal
land war in Ukraine. Well, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis joins me now from Athens. And foreign minister, great to have
you on the show. Let me first get your reaction really to what we're seeing here in the U.K. with Liz Truss saying she will resign. Your thoughts?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, FOREIGN MINISTER, LITHUANIA: Well, the United Kingdom was a great ally to Ukraine and to all of those facing Russia's
threats in the eastern flank. So, we truly keep our fingers crossed for the stability, the political stability in London. And we still hope that it can
be quickly achieved.
SOARES: And hopefully, we will know, at least by next week, late next week who the next prime minister would be. But of course, like you said,
stability is important as well as continuity, given what's happening in Ukraine. Let me focus on Ukraine then, which from today, is expected to see
rolling blackouts following this barrage of strikes on energy infrastructure.
Ukraine says Iranian drones have been used against them. You have -- you've written a tweet -- if we can bring that tweet up, where you said that -- I
think it was a tweet about ducks, if I get it wrong -- if I remember it right.
You've said that -- I think that tweet about ducks, if I remember it right.
Now the E.U. has now sanctioned Iran. Tell us why this is important.
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, LITHUANIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I think there are two reasons. First of, all it's a very com (ph) political message
to Iran and to other would-be supporters of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The ones that probably have been thinking that maybe E.U. or other allies would not react to them supplying weapons to Russia, so that's one thing.
The second thing, I think that this is in the wrong direction. I think we need to make sure that Iran is unable to produce and send the drones to
Russia that are being used against Ukraine.
So at this point, we made one step but we still have to make sure that Iran is not a participant in this war -- or not an able participant in this war.
SOARES: And what would Iran foreign minister gain from slowly entrenching itself as a player in this war?
LANDSBERGIS: Well, I mean, first of all, it's clear that Russia is desperately looking for allies. We've heard before that Russia was
approaching even North Korea for missiles and ammunition.
So obviously Iran is one of their last friends that Russia has on its side. But we still need to make sure that this friendship does not last.
Another thing that's supporting the war against Ukraine is Belarus. We sanctioned it heavily (INAUDIBLE) attacked Ukraine. So therefore, I think
it has to be the same rules that should apply to everyone, every country, every regime, which is to support Russia's war effort.
If it's Iran, North Korea, it would be so we can slow down Russia's (INAUDIBLE).
SOARES: Foreign minister, Lithuanian foreign minister, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, thank you.
And apologies there for struggling to hear him. We will try to fix the audio but hopefully you heard what the foreign minister had to say.
Let's bring it back to London because Britain will have yet another new prime minister and we will likely know who that will be by the end of next
week. Bianca Nobilo joins me now.
Bianca, here we are again, you love this place. What a mess. What a mess. Not just, you, know today but in the last week, a month.
What can we expect?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Liz Truss' premiership is being characterized by turmoil throughout.
We knew that she would be inheriting a poison chalice, that the party was so deeply divided, that it had suffered from reputational damage under
Boris Johnson, particularly with Partygate and also the behavior of some within his circle and within Parliament.
But nobody, I think, could've predicted the events of the last week, from her sacking her closest ideological ally, to the resignation of the home
secretary, to the chaotic scenes that we both heard about in Parliament last night. From start to finish, this has been a deeply turbulent
NOBILO (voice-over): Liz Truss resigned after just 45 days as Britain's prime minister, the shortest. Tenure in history, markets tanked, borrowing
costs soared and poll members slumped for a governing party in disarray.
LIZ TRUSS, OUTGOING U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I want to be honest. This is difficult.
NOBILO (voice-over): Truss was mainly following Boris Johnson's departure, chosen by less than a tenth of 1 percent of the U.K. electorate, a slither
of the Conservative base. More right-wing, older and whiter than the average voter.
TRUSS: I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform.
NOBILO (voice-over): Any prospect of a high noon period was short lived. Queen Elizabeth II died on her second day in office. Alongside former
finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, Truss' champion right-wing economic policies announcing tax cuts for the rich and no cap on bankers' bonuses.
The perceived unfairness, fueling public fury, as the U.K. began grappling with the cost of living crisis. The pound plummeted against the dollar and
the Bank of England was forced to step in, to shore up market confidence.
The IMF criticized the plan, saying it will likely increase in a policy and worsen inflation; 38 days into office, Truss sacked Kwarteng. Without her
friend and ideological ally, the prime minister appeared defeated, labeled a lame duck, unable to unite her party, let alone lead the country.
The former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, came in as the new chancellor.
His first order of business?
To throw out most of the prime minister's economic promises.
JEREMY HUNT, U.K. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: Firstly, we will reverse almost all the tax measures announced on the growth plan three weeks ago.
NOBILO (voice-over): Truss had already U-turned on cutting the top rate of tax and cutting corporation tax. Her credibility, in tatters.
KEIR STARMER, U.K. LABOUR LEADER: Two-year energy freeze, gone. Tax free shopping, gone. Economic credibility, gone.
TRUSS: Now I recognize we have made mistakes. I'm sorry for those mistakes.
ROBERT HAYWARD, BRITISH HOUSE OF LORDS: Probably one of the biggest errors that Liz Truss made was at the point she became prime minister. The only
people she appointed were her supporters.
It was a cabinet of extreme loyalists and, therefore, even before she started and, in fact, she had opponents on her own bench; some of them,
seriously well-regarded politicians.
TRUSS: To get the united --
NOBILO (voice-over): Truss' premiership was brief and chaotic, a former anti monarchist, a true blue Tory, a Remainer turned Brexiteer. Her spell
as prime minister was plagued by inconsistency and instability, both the victim and architect of deep political misfortune.
TRUSS: I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party. This morning, I met the chairman of the 1922 --
SOARES: And Bianca, as you really laid out what, you know, the party is now very much, I think it's better to say, in tatters.
Can it now ride behind one candidate, like a unit of candidates, given everything you've laid out and the friction and the infighting?
What are you seeing, what are you hearing from your sources?
NOBILO: That's a question and that's the challenge. In terms of what I'm hearing, there's no clear answer.
And the way that they've decided that this leadership contest is going to unfold will tell us a lot. They've clearly made these decisions very
deliberately. The first being the fact that MPs are going to continue to the membership stage.
Will need to get at least 100 MPs to back them. That's a vastly higher threshold than ever before. So last time, it was 20, which led to a much
broader field and also more sort of controversial or fringe candidates you could imagine getting in.
SOARES: Rishi got it right. Rishi got 100 last time.
SOARES: Rishi and penny.
NOBILO: Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor, and Penny Mordaunt, the current leader of the House of Commons, both got over that threshold. So it will
depend a lot on how many people put themselves forward.
And what part of the party vote what they split?
Because if there are several right-wing candidates, then maybe none of them would get through because they wouldn't cross the 100 MP threshold. All
that is to be decided.
But the maximum number of candidates we can get is three. Now of course, it is possible that only one person will get through. And if it's two, perhaps
they will drop out before or maybe those two names will go to the membership.
But what that 100 threshold does suggest, according to my sources, is that it will make it a lot harder for that blonde elephant in the room, the
prime minister, Boris Johnson, to make it through to the membership stage. We know he's very popular with the members, relatively speaking.
SOARES: (INAUDIBLE) there's a higher chance that then he will get the -- he will garner that support. Right, we will stay on that. But we will find out
by early next week, at least, what's the top likelihood, the top candidates.
NOBILO: -- by Monday. And the nominations for those by 2 pm on Monday.
SOARES: Bianca, thank you very much. Next, we will discuss where this sharp exit leaves the state of British democracy. Christiane Amanpour will join
me after this very short break, stay right here.
SOARES: U.S. President Joe Biden's now addressing the political crisis in the U.K. A few days ago he had criticized the prime minister's tax plans, a
rare move on his part. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, she was a good partner on Russia and on Ukraine. And the British are going to solve their
problems. She was a good partner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: This response as well to Britain's turmoil, Anthony Scaramucci, who served 11 days as Donald Trump's White House communication director for
Trump, "Liz Truss lasted 4.1 Scaramuccis," as you can see.
Britain's had five prime ministers in six years. Liz Truss was elected by only a small number of Tory Party members, with her now on her way out and
a party leadership race on the cards, many here are calling it a crisis of democracy.
They're demanding an immediate general election. Christiane Amanpour joins us. Now
Christiane, we've heard growing calls from the Labour Party and Labour leader for this general election. They may want it but they can't force it.
Explain that to our viewers around the world.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've been talking to the shadow foreign secretary of the opposition Labour Party.
I've been talking to a former Tory minister, Alan Duncan, who served under one of the last Tory prime ministers, Theresa May.
They all point out that this is a parliamentary democracy. So essentially either the party in power calls the election; very unlikely. As everybody
knows, they would lose if they were to call the election. They're so unpopular. The Labour's way, way ahead of them in the polls.
The only other way to do it is if Labour, the opposition party, called a vote of no confidence. That would be unlikely to work because the Tories
actually right now have a majority in Parliament. They want to hang on to it.
So people are beginning to say, when do we get our say?
Especially on these very radical economic measures that were instituted by basically a party of two, Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, without any due
diligence from any independent data crunching, fiscal observers who usually do weigh in.
What's going to happen, you've been talking to Bianca about it, is they're going to have this MP selection. They said the nominee should be in by
Monday. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, I spoke to the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Labour MP, a Labour member. Obviously. And he is abroad. He was quite shocked, he said,
and surprised by all this. This is how a bit of our conversation went.
AMANPOUR: But your leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has called for a general election. I just want to get your reaction to what has just happened here,
yet another prime minister, a Tory prime minister, has stepped down.
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Well, I'm not somebody who's easily surprised or easily shocked. But I'm surprised and shocked. Just a few weeks after
Liz Truss became the Conservative leader and the British prime minister, we have the chaos we have seen over the last few days and weeks, leading to
her resigning today.
Keir Starmer is absolutely right. What we don't want is yet another internal Conservative leadership contest with a another Conservative leader
becoming the U.K. prime minister -- more continuity austerity policies.
What we need, is for Liz Truss or whoever Conservative members choose to be the next leader, to give the British public the opportunity of voting for a
fresh start. If the direction was called, campaigning for it would be incredibly hard for the British public to vote for Keir Starmer and the
Labour Party because we have some of the responses to the big challenges our country faces.
I'll tell you this, Christiane, Ben Ganzares (ph), with some of the leading mayors from cities across the globe, think of any major city across the
globe, the mayors are here and we are a laughing stock. Our reputation has been diminished every minute Liz Truss has stayed in office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That's the crux of it, Britain's credibility on the world stage as much as anything.
I then talked to Alan Duncan, former Tory MP and former minister. He agreed Britain had become a laughing stock. But he didn't like Sadiq Khan said,
it, said he shouldn't be criticizing the country while abroad.
He was on an environmental world summit, of world mayors, very important. But Alan Duncan said, this is a Tory who served as a minister.
He said, basically, "We have all of this," as he called it, "a right mess: inflation, interest rates, mortgages, energy. It's bad all around Europe.
But we Conservatives," he said to me, "have made it much, much worse."
When I asked him about who the next leader of the party and prime minister would be, he thought Rishi Sunak. He obviously was the former chancellor,
who precipitated Boris Johnson's fall.
He also brought up the idea of Boris Johnson. Which in itself would beggar belief because he was forced to resign because of allegations of
misconduct, not to mention the Partygate and others. It's still going to be an extraordinary rocky ride.
SOARES: Without a doubt. What we've seen is that in the Conservative Party or the party doesn't want to give up power given -- and go for a general
election. But clearly, very much incompetent when it comes leaving. We will keep an eye, of course, on what happens for the next few days.
Christiane Amanpour, great to have you on the show, we appreciate it.
In other news, out of the U.K., the wife of a U.S. diplomat has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a British teenager by careless driving.
Harry Dunn was killed in 2019 when Anne Sacoolas, an American, was driving on the wrong side of the road.
She made a guilty plea in a London court via video link. She pleaded not guilty to death by dangerous driving. U.K. prosecutors will not pursue that
charge. The careless driving charge can be punished up to five years in prison.
She remains in the U.S. so any sentence will likely be unenforceable.
Still to come here tonight, "Welcome to Britaly." Why this magazine cover has got Italians fuming. That's next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
Now with Liz Truss' resignation, Britain is preparing for its fifth prime minister in a little more than six years. For the country's finance
minister, the terms have been even briefer with four appointees in the past three months.
And it's this instability, coupled with low economic growth, that has really prompted unflattering, let's, say comparisons with Italy. For
example, this magazine cover by "The Economist" has caused outrage among many Italians.
Now Italy's ambassador to the U.K. has hit back at what he calls old stereotypes.
"Although spaghetti and pizza are the most sought after food in the world, as the largest manufacturer in Europe, for your next cover, we would
suggest you pick, for a change, from our aerospace, biotech, automotive or pharmaceutical sectors.
"It would cast a more accurate spotlight on Italy. Also taking into account your not so secret admiration of our economic model."
An interesting case, if you are not sure, let me show you that front page again of "The Economist." We can bring it up, I will ask my producer to
bring it up again. Because I want to discuss this with Silvia Borrelli in Milan, correspondent for the "Financial Times."
And Silvia, look, I'm not an Italian. I found it a bit offensive.
SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI, "FINANCIAL TIMES": Hi, Isa. Well, definitely some powerful symbolism there. And, of course, Italians don't like to be
stereotypically portrayed as people who are kind of colorful and live in a country full of sunshine and great food but are kind of lazy and, you know,
don't have anything more than that.
But you know, if we look at things for the way they are, Italy has been characterized by political instability, slow economic growth, as you said.
It has always had very nervous bond markets.
So there is a parallel there, right?
I don't necessarily think that cover reflects the context of the article. But of course, there is a very strong parallel between what Britain's going
through right now and Italian politics. The only difference, I think, is that, for Italy, it's structural.
And it has now been embedded in the system and Italians have found a way to make it work.
As for Britain, they've created it for themselves and they're having a very hard time managing the instability.
SOARES: And, of course, in Italy, the president has a say and can change the rules and can dictate a very different. But let's talk about the
economics of this here.
You know, the article talks about political instability, low growth, subordination of the bond markets. I mean, in terms of bond markets, this
was something during the European credit crisis. I mean, things have changed somewhat.
So is it fair and how offended are Italians by this comparison?
BORRELLI: Well, again, I don't think it's necessarily fair because Italians and Italy, thanks to the way its constitution has been structured back in
the 1940s, has learned to deal with this kind of situation. And it has a system of checks and balances in place. So things work all in all. It is
the third economy in the European Union and it is a G7 country.
Notwithstanding the almost 17 governments in 70 years. So clearly the Italians don't like that, you know, British people see them as lazy or that
they always point to the defects as opposed to the great things that are part of the country, as the ambassador has pointed out.
But of course, again, you know, Italy is now back to form a new government. The right wing government that is likely to be in power very soon has had
some propositions that are very similar to Liz Truss. So I think this is also going to be a learning experience somehow, for at least future
SOARES: And Silvia, finally let's not, let's forget for a moment how the U.K. sees Italians and the stereotypes. How are Italians seeing what's
BORRELLI: Well, I think it is of interest in Italy, especially because eurosceptic or formally eurosceptic parties are likely to be in power as of
These are parties that have campaigned on leaving the euro and the Eurozone. They have campaigned on, you know, cutting taxes for the rich to
boost economic growth.
And I think this is an example of how things can turn out if this is done in a way that's not very orderly and, you know, you are in a situation of
high debt and low growth. So I think it's a learning experience for Italians and for Italy's future government as well.
SOARES: Silvia, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us here on this matter. I know it's a topic that's been a great discussion in Italy
and beyond. Appreciate it.
Now for some true British humor, maybe "The Economist" should've looked at this. As the country descended into political chaos, the British tabloid,
the "Daily Star," asked everyone a question.
Could Liz Truss'' premiership outlast a lettuce?
I kid you not. Then enter this viral livestream counting down the days.
There is the lettuce, as you can see, with a wig and a little flag. This morning, the lettuce celebrated its win as Liz Truss resigned. It toasted
its victory with bubbles, as you can see there and a sausage roll.
And that's everything you need to know, really, about Truss' premiership. Thanks for tonight. Watching tonight, do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS" with Richard Quest will be next. I will also be joining in the discussion. I will see you in a bit.