Liz Truss ‘had to rely on fugitive documents’ after being frozen over Budget controversy

After Liz Truss was excluded from policy debates in 2018 and convinced a Treasury official to snatch a copy of the Budget announcements, a new book has emerged.

The move was taken when Ms. Truss was chief secretary of the Treasury and was seen as a leak by the team of Philip Hammond, who was then chancellor.

The event is featured in the new book Out of the Blue: The Inside Story of the Unexpected Rise and Rapid Fall of Liz Truss by journalists Harry Cole and James Heale.

The authors write that the actions were “extremely high risk and possibly illegal” but were not made public at the time. A source close to Ms Truss declined to comment. Leaking details of the financially sensitive Budget was seen as a matter of resignation for government ministers in the past.

The book details Miss Truss’s rise to the top of British politics, as well as her 49 days at number 10, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in history.

Ms Truss was the chief secretary from 2017 to 2019. With the 2018 Autumn Budget approaching, Mr Hammond, now Lord Hammond, has reportedly removed him from the announcement discussions.

Poppy Trowbridge, a senior Treasury aide, would close the cases by saying, “This has no word to Liz Truss, this Budget is not leaking,” according to the book.

Truss ‘totally ignorant’ about Budget announcement

The authors write: “The day before the announcement, Ms. Truss was expected to appear in the media and ‘roll the stage’ on behalf of the Chancellor.

“She was booked on John Pienaar’s 5th Live radio show on Sunday morning, but, extraordinarily, was still completely clueless as to what would happen in the next day’s announcement.

“It fell to a sympathetic Treasury official to smuggle a copy of the Holy Scorecard—a list of all upcoming tax and spending changes—from the building and inform Miss Truss at a cafe about its contents.

“The move was extremely high-risk and possibly illegal, but the copy of the top-secret document was returned to the Treasury before anyone realized it was missing.

“Just moments before Pienaar answered questions about the measures at 5 Live, Ms Truss learned of a massive increase in NHS and Universal Credit spending.

“A Treasury source says: ‘The Treasury’s Chief Secretary, Liz Truss, knew for the first time what was inside the package, it was ridiculous.'”

Ms Truss became international trade secretary in 2019 and then foreign minister in 2021, reaching number 10 this September. She resigned on October 25th.

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