Liz Truss was forced out of Downing Street by Britain’s top civil servant, it has been claimed.
The former prime minister, who lasted just 49 days in the job, was forced to resign in the wake of her disastrous mini-Budget. Tory MPs had turned on Ms Truss, calling for her to quit after her tax cuts sparked turmoil in financial markets.
But, according to a new account by one of her biographers, it was a note from civil service head Simon Case which “doomed” her premiership.
James Heale, who co-authored Out of the Blue: The inside story of the unexpected rise and rapid fall of Liz Truss, wrote in the Spectator: “I understand that last year it was Simon Case, the head of the civil service, who wrote Liz Truss a memo telling her to abandon her economic agenda on the grounds that it was causing market chaos. From that moment, her premiership was doomed.”
And, in a claim that will raise further fears that the so-called “blob” in Whitehall is wielding power over ministers, he said: “It was a civil servant, not a cabinet delegation or opposition leader, who sounded the death knell for Trussonomics.”
Right-wing Tory MPs have repeatedly blamed a Whitehall “blob” for attempts to thwart government policy and undermine ministers.
Mr Heale said it is “easy to see” why civil servants may think they decide the fate of ministers, referencing bullying complaints.
Former deputy prime minister Dominic Raab resigned from the cabinet after an official report upheld two bullying claims against him, finding he was “unreasonably and persistently aggressive” in a meeting while foreign secretary.
But Mr Raab hit out at a small group of “very activist” senior civil servants for pushing back against government reforms they disagree with.
Mr Heale also highlighted a report by The Independent that civil servants may strike over the implementation of the government’s flagship Rwanda immigration policy.
Ms Truss’s resignation came after 15 Tory MPs publicly called for her to step down, following six weeks that included the mini-budget causing the pound’s value to plummet, the firing of Mr Kwarteng and the resignation of former home secretary Suella Braverman.
The chairman of the 1922 group of Tory backbenchers said Ms Truss accepted her premiership was doomed without him having to reveal how many had submitted no confidence letters.
After her resignation, Sir Graham said: “I’ve had the unique distinction of having these conversations with three prime ministers, and in many ways it was the easiest, most straightforward because she had come to the same conclusion.”