Liz Truss's reluctance to be interviewed is a worrying indication of her leadership qualities – Scotsman comment

It may not have the comic qualities of Boris Johnson’s decision to hide in a walk-in fridge rather than be interviewed by Piers Morgan, but Liz Truss has metaphorically done the same with her refusal to be questioned by Andrew Neil and now Vanessa Feltz.

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss has turned down interview requests from Andrew Neil and Vanessa Feltz (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss has turned down interview requests from Andrew Neil and Vanessa Feltz (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

This is almost certainly because Truss believes she is going to win the Conservative leadership contest and that one of the few things which could stop her becoming the next Prime Minister is a car-crash interview.

So an interrogation by the bullish Neil and the subtler probing of Feltz are to be avoided. In contrast, Rishi Sunak has submitted himself to both tests of his grace under pressure, perhaps realising he needs all the exposure he can get.

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Truss’s reticence should come at a cost. It does say something about her abilities as a politician that she is unwilling to be interviewed. The problems of running the country will be much more challenging than attempting to present a coherent case for why she should get the top job.

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Leadership can be a nebulous quality but being able to inspire confidence – particularly as the cost-of-living crisis continues to grow – is a key requirement.

With typical eloquence, the American journalist Ed Murrow said of Winston Churchill’s leadership during the Second World War that he “mobilised the English language and sent it into battle to steady his fellow countrymen and hearten those Europeans upon whom the long dark night of tyranny had descended”.

A long dark night of misery is fast approaching for many. Someone aspiring to lead in such times should not need to shy away from journalistic scrutiny.

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