iz Truss once branded her successor as Prime Minister “Russi Sunak” in a row over the government’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, according to a new book.
The two politicians are reported to have clashed when serving under Boris Johnson with Liz Truss, then Foreign Secretary, wanting to take a tougher line on Putin’s Russia than the then Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The claim comes from a book by Daily Telegraph political editor Ben Riley-Smith called The Right to Rule: Thirteen Years, Five Prime Ministers and the Implosion of the Tories, the MailOnline reported.
He claims Ms Truss offered to have a secure phone driven from London to Mr Sunak’s constituency home in Yorkshire to help him make a “speedy decision” while the then Chancellor was said to have been frustrated by Ms Truss opposing his plans to pay for British military support for Ukraine from the foreign aid budget that she oversaw.
Riley-Smith writes how one aide “recalled Truss being so frustrated with the Chancellor’s refusal to go further in punishing Vladimir Putin that she once jokingly dubbed him ‘Russi Sunak’’”
He added that one aide to Ms Truss “recalled overhearing the Chancellor pushing back forcefully down the line, apparently angered at press briefings about the rift, as they were being driven in a ministerial car”.
A Truss adviser said the two politicans “had no relationship” and “clashed a lot”.
The pair competed to replace Mr Johnson when he stood down with Ms Truss winning the leadership contest only to be replaced by Mr Sunak when her premiership collapsed in turmoil after 49 days.