Liz Truss has made her pitch for No.11. But if she gets her wish, who might replace her as Chief Secretary to the Treasury? Step forward, Jacob Rees-Mogg. That at least was who Truss touted as a possible successor at a Press Gallery lunch this afternoon.
Truss revealed that preparations for the handover are already underway – and Rees-Mogg’s nanny will be pleased to know that she hasn’t been forgotten. Rees-Mogg’s Bentley is also part of the picture, with Truss jokingly claiming that the Treasury car park has undergone extensive modifications to accommodate Mogg’s car:
“I’ve been pleased to see that JRM has been touted as my successor. I’ve already trained up the private office in Latin, I’ve created a space in the Treasury car park for a Bentley, and although we know Boris is completely committed to abolishing the nanny state, he has decided to make one exception. Yes, with her experience of dealing with difficult children and Old Etonians, nanny is going to be made Chief Whip. Discipline will be restored to the CPP.”
Truss also found time to have a pop at Michael Gove. Referencing Gove’s recent drug confession, she said:
“Rebelling MPs will get a wrap on the knuckles and they will have to do lines. Not those kind of lines, Michael.”
So if it is Rees-Mogg who takes over the reins, Truss made it clear that she will be around to lend a helping hand:
“As outgoing Chief Secretary, I leave the public finances in good shape. The deficit is now down to one per cent, the lowest since 2002 – much better shape than when Liam Byrne left his infamous note saying ‘there’s no money left’. My note will be different. It will say: “Jacob, if you need anything, I’ll be just down the hall”