Liz Truss gives 'bizarre' speech about cheese
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Ms Truss is delivering her first speech as Foreign Secretary today in front of an audience at Chatham House and is expected to attempt to channel Margaret Thatcher. The major policy speech will look to tackle Britain’s awkward colonial history. According to reports, she will look to a “confident, outward-looking, patriotic and positive” future for the UK.
Ms Truss last week invited comparisons with Mrs Thatcher after she posed on a tank in Estonia.
During her talk, which begins at 10am on Wednesday, she is expected to say that “rather than being racked with shame about our history and doubt about our future, it’s time for Britain to be proud once again of who we are and what we stand for”.
She will also reveal plans about British diplomats who, she says, should be “unleashed and empowered” to promote “the best of British business, culture and values of freedom, democracy and human rights around the world”.
She will add: “We need to believe in Britain and project the best of Britain to the world.
“I want us to be confident, outward-looking, patriotic and positive and to be proud of our great country.”
With her flagship speech nearing, a video of a talk she gave in 2014 has resurfaced.
It came while she was Secretary for the Environment under David Cameron, and was addressing the Conservative Party conference.
Talking about how strong the UK’s food industry was — growing wheat, producing cheese, exporting tea — she said she wanted to see the UK “eating more British food”.
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It was here that she launched into the bizarre outburst, and said: “At the moment, we import two-thirds of all of our apples.
“We import nine-tenths of all of our pears.
“We import two-thirds of our cheese.
“That is a disgrace!”
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While the ending note was received with applause, it went on to make Ms Truss a figure of mockery.
In a 2021 i News piece analysing Ms Truss’ rise over the years, Arj Singh noted how the event became a point of comedic referral for Conservative workers in Parliament.
He wrote: “For a few years, Liz Truss was perhaps best known for a widely ridiculed party conference speech in which she said Britain importing two thirds of its cheese was ‘a disgrace’.
“It even inspired a ritual among junior civil servants known as ‘cheese time’.
“A former Whitehall official recalls: ‘There used to be a particular time of day on a particular day of the week when all civil servants across Whitehall would stop and watch that video on YouTube because they found it so funny.'”
It was around this time that Ms Truss found herself under heavy fire after she failed to defend the judiciary following their branding as “enemies of the people” at the height of the Brexit wars.
She was soon after demoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Her ministerial career at that point was hanging by a thread.
However, she became the biggest winner when Boris Johnson was elected Prime Minister and reshuffled his cabinet.
She was promoted to Secretary for International Trade, later becoming Minister for Women and Equalities before holding her current influential role as Foreign Secretary.
Many now claim that Ms Truss has likely got her eye on the top job in the Government.
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