The former Brexit Party MEP has warned that Liz Truss’s “change of direction” over the 45p top rate of tax in the wake of cabinet dissent may only serve to deepen opposition to the Prime Minister’s growth agenda. On Tuesday, Mr Forman dipped out of a Conservative Conference fringe event in Birmingham’s ICC to speak to Express.co.uk about why the Prime Minister’s abrupt climb down may not be enough to ward off future Tory party rebellions.
Mr Forman warned: “The big risk with the change of direction is the people that forced the change in direction might feel that this is something they can continue to do at other times with other policies.
The former Brexit Party MEP stressed the need for the Prime Minister’s team to avoid leaving cabinet and city heavy-hitters in the dark around major policy announcements.
“If there is a lesson that needs to be learnt, which Liz Truss says there is, it is about making sure that people are fully briefed beforehand so they know where you are coming from so you are not really spooking markets,” he said.
Speaking to the Express ahead of the Prime Minister’s make-or-break conference speech, Mr Forman made a plea for Ms Truss to use the opportunity to lay out her economic vision for Britain.
“She needs to set out her vision that is a free market, low tax, deregulated, growth economy,” he told Express.co.uk. “We need growth, that is what we need.”
Addressing delegates on Wednesday, Truss said she would make the “difficult but necessary” choices to get economic growth, but was heckled by environmental campaigners during her first conference speech as Tory leader.
The Prime Minister promised to steer the country through the “tempest” and “get Britain moving”.
Despite the decision to ditch plans to scrap the 45p top rate of tax, Ms Truss insisted “we must stay the course” in pursuit of her three priorities: “Growth, growth and growth.”
A low tax economy was a sign that “Britain is open for business”, she said.
But in an attempt to calm markets which had been spooked by Mr Kwarteng’s mini-budget, Ms Truss promised to “keep an iron grip on the nation’s finances”.
“I believe in sound money and the lean state,” she said.
“I remember my shock opening my first paycheque to see how much money the taxman had taken out. I know this feeling is replicated across the country. That is why we must always be careful with taxpayers’ money.”