Liz Truss was wheeled out to represent the government on BBC's Radio4 Today programme, in the important back-of-the-news 8.10am slot. Alas, she turned out to be evasive, unhelpful and somewhat taken aback by the fact that she was being asked questions about the Queen's Speech, the contents of which had already been widely briefed to journalists.
When asked about the repeal of the European Human Rights Act, that is known to have been delayed for a year or so, she said: “What I’m saying is that we can’t talk about the entire contents of
the Queens Speech the morning before it’s given…. I’m not speculating
about it one way or the other; what I’m saying is it’s a clear manifesto
commitment from the Conservative party.”
What an utterly pointless answer. I'm sure Ms Truss was doing her best, but it was a complete shambles. She only gave a firm answer to one question - she will be supporting the reintroduction of fox-hunting. That's all we learned from the entire interview, and it wasn't even news, since she's said it before.
Most surprisingly, she said several times "We don't actually know the contents of the Queen's Speech". Really? She's a Government minister. Is she not in the loop? It also sounded as though she was reading a script, which should have been easy to conceal since she wasn't live in the BBC Studio, but down the line in Westminster.
Ms Truss was either completely evasive or very badly briefed. Either way it's a very poor piece of spin.
Of course, she's hardly had a glittering career in oratory, as Have I Got News For You pointed out:
So at least she's doing something for the satire industry, not to mention having a name that's handy for a punning headline. Not all bad then...