Liz Truss makes it through party conference, but various challenges lie ahead

It could not have come as too much of a surprise if those standing up to heckle the Prime Minister during Wednesday's speech were members of her own cabinet.

This week's Conservative party conference saw open dispute over the new government's (now abandoned) plan to scrap the 45p income tax rate for the highest earners, and the (still undecided) question of whether to lift benefits in line with inflation.

It was in fact campaigners from the environmental group Greenpeace who staged that mid-speech protest.

One of them, Ami McCarthy from Cumbria, told us afterwards: "Nobody voted for these policies they're now enacting. No-one voted for slashing workers' rights, cutting benefits, trashing nature."

The interruption actually seemed to work for Liz Truss, uniting the conference hall behind her.

But it's likely to be a brief respite, with fractures within her party that are far from resolved.

The protesters shouted about the government lifting the ban on fracking - and there are a lot of Conservative MPs unhappy about that too.

The Greenpeace pair didn't mention the West Cumbria coal mine, but the Communities Secretary Simon Clarke has until 8 November to decide whether it can go ahead, and will cause controversy either way.

The Prime Minister gave nothing away on the mine when I interviewed her on Sunday evening, saying: "the decision is in process, so I cannot intervene at this stage."

A response on the Scottish independence debate was more revealing.

I asked: "If the Supreme Court rules another referendum is legal, will you be leading the campaign to keep Scotland in the union?"

Ms Truss replied: "I'm very clear that in 2014, when there was a referendum, we said it was once in a generation. I'm very clear there shouldn't be another referendum before that generation is up."

Christine Grahame, SNP MSP in the Scottish Borders, told us it was "quite extraordinary for a Prime Minister to allude to the fact that, even if the Supreme Court argues that we can have a consultative referendum, it appears that she would try to oppose this."

After reporting those respective comments on social media, I've had another reminder of just how ferocious the arguments around independence can be.

The, more civilised, legal arguments over whether the Scottish parliament has the powers to hold another vote will be heard in the Supreme Court next week, with the judges' decision expected a couple of months later.

So the constitutional question may yet loom large for Liz Truss, though economic challenges dominate right now.

The Scottish Secretary, the Dumfries & Galloway MP Alister Jack, told us afterwards that "it was an excellent speech", showing she has "a clear strategy going forward."

Some other local Conservatives who'd stayed the course in Birmingham were also complimentary - but the voters we spoke to in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, gave a damning assessment of Truss' record so far.

After turmoil in the markets linked to the new government's radical policies, one woman described things as: "a bit of a mess", another: "absolutely diabolical."

One man told us he wouldn't vote Conservative again, another suggested: "it might have been better sticking with Boris."

That was an unscientific 'vox pop', of course, but a number of opinion polls have painted a similar picture, leading to speculation in political circles that Liz Truss' days in the top job may already be numbered.