Liz Truss 'determined' to see through plans amid calls for resignation
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The wealthy donors who help bankroll the Conservative Party’s election campaign have turned against Liz Truss over her U-turns on tax. Just two days before caving in and agreeing to a rise in Corporation Tax, the Prime Minister told a donors event with 250 of Britain’s wealthiest people that she would stick to her tax cutting strategy. Now they feel betrayed.
Even before she sacked her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday and performed a U-turn on keeping Corporation Tax at 19p, Ms Truss had failed to convince many of the millionaires and billionaires that she was worth backing, donors have told Express.co.uk.
One influential donor said: “The whole thing is an absolute shambles. She’s completely blown it. The question now is only who can replace her and whether they can minimise the defeat to Labour. We are going to end up with a Labour Government now.”
The despondency emerged after a £1,500 ticket event with the Prime Minister at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Wednesday evening.
A guest at the event told Express.co.uk: “It was such a contrast to past events with Boris Johnson, nobody wanted to put their hands in their pockets to give money to the party.”
The event known as the Carlton Dinner has been a major fundraiser for the party for its election war chest with million raised at past events.
Another guest said: “I remember back in 2019 when [party chairman] Ben Elliott came to the auction and asked people to if they would give £100,000, ten people stood up. The event must have raised millions, people were put amazing bids on lots. But Boris had that effect on people.”
In contrast, according to guests, Ms Truss, who had already abandoned plans to scrap the top rate of 45p for high earners on income tax, did not manage to attract the same enthusiasm.
One guest said: “The auction was a literal embarrassment. For starters there were only two lots which is different from before. Nobody seemed to want to donate anything to be bid on.”
The lots were dinner or lunch with Sir Graham Brady, 1922 committee chairman, and the original signed copy of Ms Truss’ conference speech bound in leather. The meal with Sir Graham went for £21,000 and the speech for about £25,000. But a guest noted that there were not many bidders.
“There was a member of the Lords doing the auction and he kept on having to ask people to put a bid on. Nobody seemed to want to do it, it was really embarrassing. The whole event was underwhelming, the Prime Minister wasn’t convincing.”
Another donor, who used to back more than 20 Tory MPs in their constituencies and declined to go, said: “You may as well set fire to money in your garden as back this lot. They are a total waste of time.
“I agree with the Prime Minister’s mini Budget but it was so badly done and carried out that she has completely messed it up. A Labour government now is inevitable and there is no point giving donations to people who are just going to mess it up.”
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