Liz Truss is a 'Margaret Thatcher tribute act' says Taylor
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Ms Truss is currently odds-on to beat rival Rishi Sunak after sealing her place in the final two, with the party’s 200,000-odd members now set to decide between them. The MP for South West Norfolk is now an enthusiastic backer of Brexit – but campaigned for Remain in 2016.
Mr Cummings, who was the director of the Vote Leave campaign, suggested she was getting crucial strategic help from two people not traditionally associated with Euroscepticism.
Specifically, he claimed, without providing evidence, that her campaign was “being run by Jason Stein & Roland Rudd, literally the most ‘Remain and Rejoin’ campaigner in UK”.
His tweet included two emoticons depicting explosives, referring to his nickname for Ms Truss, “the human hand grenade”.
Mr Rudd, the founder and chairman of FGS Global, formerly RLM Finsbury, a PR company.
A former President of the Oxford Union, he was until 2019 chairman of the Open Britain campaign, one of five organisations underneath the People’s Vote umbrella which campaigned for a second referendum.
He was involved in a bitter clash with James McGrory and Tom Baldwin, as the campaign’s director and director of communications, after announcing he wanted to sack the pair of them, prompting 40 staff to walk out in protest.
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Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former head of strategy and communications, subsequently accused him of putting his personal status in front of attempts to stop Brexit.
Meanwhile, Mr Stein, who also works for FGS Global, is a former adviser to Ms Rudd who “managed all communications” for Ms Truss when she was Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
He also worked as a special adviser for Prince Andrew – but left his role by mutual consent after the Duke of York agreed to an explosive interview with Emily Maitlis last year, against Mr Stein’s advice.
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Mr Cummings, who is thought to favour former Chancellor Mr Sunak as Tory leader, has been highly critical of Ms Truss in recent weeks.
In a tweet on Friday, Mr Cummings, who used shopping trolly emoticons to signify Boris Johnson, suggested the PM was backing Ms Truss “cos knows she’s mad & thinks she’ll blow & he can make a comeback.”
The day before, he posted: “Totally on-brand for ERG to back a truly useless Remainer who did nothing in govt except gabble with hacks”.
Ms Truss campaigned enthusiastically against Brexit prior to the referendum, tweeting in February 2016: “I am backing Remain as I believe it is in Britain’s economic interest and means we can focus on vital economic and social reform at home.”
In May of that year, during a speech to the Food and Drink Federation, she said: “If we are a country like Norway we would have to fill in 50 boxes on a form every time we wanted to export something.
“We’ve got to be very careful about taking that single market for granted & being outside that single market. The single market is really crucial to the amount of growth we’ve seen in food and drink exports.”
However, last week she told the BBC: “I fully embraced the choice that the people of Britain have made.
“I was wrong and I am prepared to admit I was wrong. Some of the portents of doom didn’t happen and instead we have actually unleashed new opportunities.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Ms Truss via her Parliamentary office, and Mr Rudd and Mr Stein via FGS Global, for comment.
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