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Anthony Seldon: 'Liz Truss will fail, the UK is in a difficult situation'

Liz Truss will fail.

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Anthony Seldon: 'Liz Truss will fail, the UK is in a difficult situation'

Liz Truss will fail. This is the prognosis of Anthony Seldon, British historian known across the Channel for his relentless political biographies of the passage to "Number Ten" of each Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher. In support of his analysis, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham summons the perilous context in which the conservative came to power. But also the difficulties inherent in the post of Prime Minister, a function that has become "almost impossible". He explains to L'Express.

L'Express: Is Liz Truss as close as they say to her predecessor, Boris Johnson?

Anthony Seldon: Liz Truss is more liberal than him, her instincts lead her more to the right. Johnson is a centrist who turned to the right because his party demanded it. Truss is someone very ambitious and determined, where Johnson lacked discipline. She is ready to make difficult decisions and has less charm than him. Liz Truss is really Margaret Thatcher's daughter. She is more charismatic than Merkel has ever been. But I believe that until they take office, we never know how Prime Ministers will govern. Liz Truss remains someone quite mysterious.

You are convinced that Liz Truss will fail. Why ?

The United Kingdom is in a very difficult situation, with a balance of payments problem, a recession announced by the Bank of England... Internationally, Truss has not yet reaped the benefits of Brexit, based on a romantic ideal of Britain's place in the world. She must also manage the war in Ukraine, without forgetting to grant more money to schools so that they catch up with the delay caused by the Covid. She came to power after twelve years of Conservative government, which is a very long time. People are ready for change. Truss is going to do well, she is energetic, intelligent, hardworking, but she succeeds a personality much more charismatic than her - even if Boris Johnson had many faults - which is very difficult.

Beyond the Liz Truss case, you claim that the post of Prime Minister is today "virtually impossible". Why ?

Most prime ministers perform below their abilities, because of how they decide to do their job, and because they don't have time to learn how to do it. And most ultimately fail.

Liz Truss will probably govern for two years before losing the next legislative elections. That's what the polls suggest. This is also what history suggests, since no party has won three legislative elections in a row, which is extremely difficult to achieve. Two years is not enough to accomplish his mission.

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