Liz Truss's constituents voice their hopes and fears as South West Norfolk MP becomes prime minister

  • ITV News Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura found out what voters across East made of the news

Voters in Liz Truss's constituency have had their say on her ascent to become the next prime minister - with many voicing their hopes that her Norfolk seat will not be forgotten.

The new Conservative leader was elected to her South West Norfolk constituency in 2010 with 48% of the vote, and has increased her share at each of the three following elections in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Retired probation officer Jackie Westrop, of Downham Market, said Ms Truss has “a hell of a lot of work to do” in her new role.

“I extend my congratulations,” said the 66-year-old, speaking outside a supermarket in the town. “This is something that she’s driven for for quite some time. I only hope her constituency doesn’t suffer.

“This constituency, like a lot of other places in the country, has some significant problems, and I hope she and her team don’t forget the people who originally elected her as an MP years ago.”

Retired probation officer Jackie Westrop, 66, of Downham Market in Liz Truss's constituency of South West Norfolk. Credit: PA

Ms Westrop said: “I’d like her to follow up on the promise that she’s just given the party, which is actually ‘deliver, deliver, deliver’.

“I think that’s quite a bold statement to make in the current circumstances.”

She said if Ms Truss did not address the cost-of-living crisis and “get the economy moving”, then “she will actually be one of the shortest-serving premiers in history”.

“That could very easily be her fate,” said Ms Westrop. “One hopes not. One hopes that she actually does well because the country deserves a break and hopefully she’ll be the lady to deliver it.”

Artist Rob Shaw, who lives in the village of Stoke Ferry, said that, between Ms Truss and her leadership rival Rishi Sunak, he did not “think it really matters in this situation who took over”.

He said: “They’ve both got their own ideas but we’re in such a state at the moment that I don’t think that there’s much way out of it without upsetting a lot of people or just plunging us into a lot more debt, which is pretty much inevitable either way.

“To be honest, I think they’re going to preside over a collapse in society at this point. We’ll just see how it goes, won’t we?”

Liz Truss gives her speech after being declared winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest. Credit: PA

The 41-year-old continued: “I’d like to see a restructure of society, to be honest, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.

“As long as there’s big business making lots of money and they’ve got the government in their pockets, they’re going to continue to do whatever they want to do and we’ll have to just suck it up, won’t we?”

Mr Shaw said he felt sorry for those “living on the breadline” who faced “prolonged no answers to their questions” during the leadership contest.

“In the long run, I’m sure we’ll all go back to normal and we’ll all forget about it like we always do, then it’ll be the next problem to worry about,” he added.

Civil servant Rebecca Thomson, 42 of Downham Market, said she hoped Ms Truss would address “what we’re all going to be facing in regard to our finances”.

Semi-retired handyman Michael Beaton, of the village of Southery, said of news Ms Truss will become prime minister: “It’ll speak for itself really, I think it’ll be all the same.”

The 63-year-old continued: “The Tories, so far, have devastated most of the NHS and things like that, haven’t they? Whether she does anything about that and puts it back instead of trying to privatise it all, they’ve got to make up their minds which way they want to go.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know