Liz Truss pushed forward with a ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ designed to see all European Union rules “replaced or repealed” by the end of 2023. Although the Government committed to keeping “high standards in areas such as workers’ rights and the environment”, the bill received immediate criticism from the Trades Union Congress and the Scottish government.
Therese Coffey, the new Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, pledged to “drive up performance” and to be a “patients’ champion” as she put forward £500 million for social care to get patients out of hospital quicker and to make it easier it for foreign staff to work in the NHS, ahead of what was expected to be a difficult winter. She received immediate criticism from Jeremy Hunt for suggesting NHS GP waiting times would be only two weeks.
Kit Malthouse, the new Education Secretary, confirmed he was drawing up plans to end the 25-year-old ban on new grammar schools. He argued that Truss wanted her government to “address the strong desire in quite a lot of parents” for more educational choice.
Jacob Rees-Mogg went ahead with lifting the ban of fracking, pledging payments for the “inconvenience” new schemes might cause to local residents, and ditched plans to block new oil and gas projects if they did not meet the UK’s climate commitments.
As work on the mini-Budget continued, it was reported more than 100,000 part-time workers would risk having their benefits cut if they did not work longer hours. Some of her closest advisers came to believe, in light of the Queen’s death, Truss’s mood had become “imperial”, as she suggested a growing number of ambitious policies to the Treasury.
With acknowledgments to Harry Cole and James Heale‘s Out of the Blue: the Inside Story of the Unexpected Rise and Rapid Fall of Liz Truss