LIZ Truss met with Jeremy Hunt and the Cabinet Secretary yesterday — trying to give the impression that she is still in charge of her Government.
Her allies are letting it be known that she will not go quietly and any attempt to oust her could trigger a General Election.
But, back in the real world, what is actually left of the Truss premiership, apart from the woman herself?
True, she’s still in Downing Street. But the policies that got her elected by the Tory membership have all been tossed on the fire by the new Chancellor.
The tax cuts she promised — including a 1p reduction in the basic rate — are on hold. Hunt even says some taxes might go UP.
Meanwhile, like a grim-faced George Osborne tribute act, he threatens a new era of austerity, with efficiencies demanded from every Whitehall department.
Cue howls of protest from the NHS, public sector unions and the BBC.
Given the fantastic economic mess created by the botched mini-budget, some harsh medicine may well be needed to reassure the markets.
But what is now the point of the poor Prime Minister?
She wasn’t elected for her empathy, or her communication skills. It was to boldly cut taxes and usher in a new era of growth. That’s all gone.
So she sits in No10, wondering when the knock on the door will come from the men in grey suits while Mr Hunt — twice rejected by Tory MPs and members — and the civil service run the country.
Will febrile Tory MPs be happy to put up with this?
Will Ms Truss ultimately decide herself that enough is enough and make way for a more able candidate like Rishi Sunak or Ben Wallace, allowing them to be installed without what would be a catastrophic election contest?
The grown ups in the Tory party need to take back control and come up with a clear strategy for steering themselves — and us — through the hard months ahead.
Wail to the chief
IMAGINE ending up on the receiving end of a lecture about economic competence from Joe Biden.
This is a President who stoked rampant global inflation by spending more than $1TRILLION, handing so-called “stimulus” cheques of $1,400 to every US citizen — including rapists and murderers in prison.
And far from kick-starting the economy as he hoped, America is now facing a looming recession anyway.
Biden’s trashing of Britain, his most loyal and trusted ally, served only to highlight once again his own rambling, shambling incompetence.
Time for Sleepy Joe to butt out of British economic affairs — and have a lie down.