Liz Truss rebuked by Number 10 following attack on Michael Gove
Liz Truss has been rebuked by Number 10 after using a speech to launch an attack on Cabinet colleague Michael Gove.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury criticised the Environment Secretary’s crackdown on plastics and suggested he was full of "hot air" in an address at the London School of Economics.
She also appeared to lash out at Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson as she rounded on "macho" Cabinet ministers demanding more taxpayers' money for their departments.
But while Ms Truss insisted that the speech had been cleared, Number 10 last night denied that it had been signed off, with a source telling the Times her team had been had been "spoken to" about the remarks.
A spokesman for Ms Truss insisted that an unedited version of the speech had been mistakenly uploaded to the government website.
Meanwhile, Tory backbencher Graham Brady – who chairs the powerful 1922 committee – called on the Cabinet to unite behind Theresa May ahead of a crunch period of Brexit talks.
He said: "The mood among parliamentary colleagues and the widespread feeling in the country is that at this important time it is essential that people get behind the prime minister and give her the space and the authority to deliver the right outcome for the country."
The Prime Minister’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy echoed the comments, urging his ex-boss to stand up to her Cabinet or risk getting the "worst" Brexit deal.
Mr Timothy accused Business Secretary Greg Clark of pushing to retain freedom of movement, while suggesting that the Chancellor Philip Hammond was standing in the way of planning for Britain to leave the EU without a deal.
In an article for the Telegraph, he warned his former boss: "The time for playing nice and being exploited is over."