8 of the toughest questions and awkward moments from series of BBC interviews with Prime Minister Liz Truss

The tone was set with the opening question in the first of numerous interviews on local radio.

While many have been stressing or struggling to sleep amid the economic uncertainty, BBC Leeds presenter Rima Ahmed asked the PM, who has not been in the public eye since the mini budget “Did you sleep well Prime Minister?”

Local radio stations took their opportunity to grill the Prime Minister as she made her first media appearance in four days in a spate of appearances that saw difficult questions and awkward silences throughout.

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We take a look at some of the toughest questions and awkward moments from across the local interviews.

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Where have you been?

Appearing on BBC Radio Leeds just after 8am, host Rima Ahmed set the tone for many of the interviews across the network.

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She pointed out that since the PM last conducted a media interview the pound has hit a record low, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for a rethink and the Bank of England has spent £65bn propping up the markets.

She asked simply “Where have you been?”

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Prime Minister Liz Truss has insisted the Government’s tax-cutting measures are the “right plan” in the face of rising energy bills and to get the economy growing despite market turmoil sparked by the Chancellor’s mini-budget.

The Prime Minister responded that she had been working to take decisive action to combat the rising energy bills before Ahmed stepped in saying “But that was before the mini-budget. We have not heard from you for four days.”

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Queue an awkward silence.

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UK economic crisis: Liz Truss insists income tax cuts are 'right plan' amid risi...
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Your judgement is better than the Bank of England and IMF?

Following on from Leeds the Prime Minister appeared on BBC Radio Norfolk.

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Chris Goreham carried out the interview and drew the Conservative leader in on whether or not she defended her deal or would change course.

He asked if a real leader stuck to Plan A or changes course if it isn’t working asking: “Can you reassure listeners that your judgment is better than that of people like the IMF and the Bank of England, who have criticised the min-budget?

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Truss said she would do what is right for the country to take it forward and that this was the right plan.

Not making promises over Norfolk hospital

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The interview for Radio Norfolk concluded with a local question on hopes for the rebuild of King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, believed to be the most dilapidated in the UK.

Chris Goreham appeared stunned however that the Prime Minister and Norfolk MP could not give a definitive answer on the future of the hospital and instead passed of its future to the health secretary saying: “Norfolk needs this”

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She said: "As a Norfolk MP, I have been working hard to see improvements and have seen the difficult situation with the roof.

“I hope the new health secretary, Theresa Coffey, will visit soon to see the situation and make sure that action is taken.

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"She will be the one that delivers but I'm not making promises on her behalf."

Banks putting out your fire

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Truss then appeared on Radio Kent.

Host Anna Cookson set the tone immediately asking the Prime Minister if she is ashamed of what she has done.

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Truss responded saying that her government took action take action over inflation and rising fuel bills and that that they are working closely with the Bank of England, with Cookson quickly chiming in that the bank are “putting out your fire”

Do you know where Preston New Road is? Fracking in Lancashire

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As well as quizzing the PM on national issues, many took the opportunity to highlight local issues.

Lancashire host Graham Liver quizzed the PM on fracking asking: “Why can’t you tell us there will be no fracking in Lancashire. People do not want it?” and that “the science hadn’t change”

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Truss responded saying “Fracking is carried out perfectly safely in other various parts of the world and the business secretary will make sure that any fracking that takes place is safe.”

Liver was quick to question her, saying that America “do it in the middle of nowhere” before asking if she actually knew where Preston New Road was.

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In response, she said she “didn’t think she had been to that site in the past.”

Reverse Robin Hood

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On BBC Radio Nottingham, Truss was interviewed by Sarah Julian.

She said the Truss and the mini-budget has made the issue worse and that the economic issue is “a problem you have created” Liz Truss says it is a global issue and that her government has taken decisive action to help people with energy bills.

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However Julian pressed on saying the “mini-budget will benefit the rich much more than anyone else. It is like a reverse Robin Hood, isn’t it?”

After a bit of silence as the soundbite landed, Truss responded saying that such a claim was not true.

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The horses have bolted

Liz Truss was grilled on BBC Radio Bristol and accused of giving the “same scripted answers” after she said that the UK faced economic problems due to the war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin.

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Host James Hanson quickly got the PM on the backfoot however saying “This isn’t just about Putin. Your Chancellor on Friday opened up the stable door and spooked the horses so much you could almost see the economy being dragged behind them.”

Truss continued “This is about Putin and the war in Ukraine” to which the BBC Radio Bristol host responded saying: “So the Bank of England intervention yesterday was the fault of Vladimir Putin was it?”

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The PM doubled down adding: “This is a global financial situation. Currencies are under pressure around the world.”

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Lost for words over mortgage fees

Like many of us, Liz Truss was lost for words over mortgage fees on Radio Stoke.

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John Acres pointed out that people would be paying more in mortgage fees than they would on the amount they have said on their energy bills adding: “People are worried about their mortgages.”

Truss responded saying interest rates are a matter for the independent Bank of England and are going up around the world.