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Former first secretary of state on Truss: It’s easy to blame poor communications

Official portrait of Damian Green, Chris McAndrew

Damian Green, first secretary of state under Theresa May, has responded to PM Liz Truss after she blamed “poor communications” for the public reaction to her proposed tax cuts, which she has now performed an early high-profile u-turn on.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Tory party conference in Birmingham today, Green said: “[it’s] really easy to blame bad communications for bad policy.”

The planned cut to the 45p rate for those earning over £150,000 a year meant that the highest-paid would save thousands of pounds every year, during an era when those on more modest wages are seeing soaring energy bills, rising inflation and stagnant wage growth. The policy was understandably unpopular, and not only among the lower paid – an Observer study over the weekend found only one-in-six of those earning over £150,000 it spoke to were in favour of their unexpected pay rise.

Green added that Truss is likely to now face up to a year of hard work just to convince the public she is competent after the shambolic start to her tenure as PM: “The achilles heel of the Conservative Party is the idea that it is the party of the rich,” he said. “Liz Truss needs six to 12 months of hard work to persuade the public that she is competent.”

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