‘That is a disgrace’ - Liz Truss recalls disastrous ‘cheese’ speech

PUBLISHED: 14:10 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:35 01 October 2018

Liz Truss delivered a joke-filled speech at Tory conference in Birrmingham
Photo: PA / Stefan Rousseau

Liz Truss delivered a joke-filled speech at Tory conference in Birrmingham Photo: PA / Stefan Rousseau

PA Wire/PA Images

A Norfolk Conservative MP, who delivered a cringeworthy conference speech in 2014, has joked about her memorable performance at this year’s gathering.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss gave a much-ridiculed speech four years ago when she was environment secretary where she claimed Britain importing two thirds of its cheese was “a disgrace”.

But this year Ms Truss, who is now chief secretary to the Treasury, joked: “Conference is something I look forward to every year. It’s a platform for Conservatives to make the big arguments about our country’s future.

“To fight the big fight on the great playing field of ideas. Or in my case, to talk about cheese. Now, I had prepared a long speech about the trends in British cheddar exports. But I’m afraid you’ll all have to miss out.

“Because this year, I’ve been told that there’s not to be any cheese chat. Conference, that’s not just annoying... That is a disgrace.”

She also told delegates at the Conservative conference in Birmingham of her “bad cop” reputation in the Treasury.

She joked: “After recently dealing with a request from one secretary of state, I woke up the next day to find a tarantula in my bed.

“And what I’ve learned from that experience is – don’t mess with David Mundell.”

But Ms Truss, who said she had been advised not to make any jokes as they “don’t always go according to plan”, added: “Just to be clear, that was a joke.”

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson was known in Westminster for keeping a pet tarantula named Cronus in a glass box on his desk when he was chief whip.

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