Former UK prime minister Liz Truss has hit back at a tabloid newspaper that mocked her short-lived tenure by comparing it to the shelf life of a lettuce.
The Daily Star launched a livestream of a lettuce in a blond wig, dubbed “Lizzy Lettuce”, to see if it would rot before Truss was ousted by her party after 49 days in office.
The stunt was inspired by an Economist article that said Truss had “the shelf life of a bagged salad”.
Speaking at a broadcasting conference in Dublin, Truss said she did not find the lettuce joke funny, but rather “puerile” and irrelevant.
She also criticised the media for focusing on trivialities and not understanding her economic ideas, which she described as small-state and low-tax.
She said she preferred a robust and irreverent media than the alternatives, but added that politics was sometimes treated as “a branch of the entertainment industry”.
Truss also dismissed the comparisons between her and Margaret Thatcher, saying they were “lazy thinking” and that she never consciously sought to emulate the former prime minister.
Truss resigned as prime minister in October 2022 after her budget triggered a wave of economic chaos and a revolt in her Conservative party.
She was replaced by Rishi Sunak, who reversed some of her controversial policies, such as cutting the foreign aid budget and raising taxes on workers.
Truss remains an MP and has not ruled out a return to frontline politics.
She said she came into politics because she wanted to change the country and push particular ideas.
She also defended her predecessor Boris Johnson, who was banned from parliament for six months for repeatedly holding parliament in contempt while prime minister.
She said his punishment was “overly harsh” and that “none of us are perfect”.
‘I don’t think it’s funny’: Liz Truss says being compared to a lettuce was not funny, LBC, 19 June 2023
Liz Truss says lettuce joke was ‘puerile’ and media did not understand her ideas, The Guardian, 19 June 2023
Liz Truss says tabloid ‘wet lettuce’ gag was not funny, Press Gazette, 19 June 2023
Liz Truss: ‘Comparing me to a lettuce was not particularly funny’, The Telegraph, 19 June 2023