I’m backing Liz Truss, says billionaire Conservative donor Lord Bamford

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Lord Bamford praised Liz Truss’s pledge to cut taxes - Jacob King/Reuters
Lord Bamford praised Liz Truss’s pledge to cut taxes - Jacob King/Reuters

The billionaire Conservative donor who hosted Boris Johnson’s wedding party has announced that he is backing Liz Truss to become the next Tory leader.

Lord Bamford, the chairman of JCB, the construction equipment company, said he was supporting the Foreign Secretary because of her “extensive experience” in international affairs and “plans to reward British people for working hard”.

In a statement on Saturday, he said: “At a time when geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties are high on the political agenda, we need a Conservative leader with extensive experience, particularly on the international stage.

“Liz Truss delivered more than 60 trade agreements by the time Brexit was done, and she has done more than most to hold Russia to account following its invasion of Ukraine.”

Lord Bamford also praised the Foreign Secretary’s pledge to cut taxes, saying: “Her plans to reward British people for working hard are welcome at a time when economic conditions are getting tougher.

“That’s why I’m backing Liz Truss for leader of the Conservative Party, and our next Prime Minister.”

The declaration is perhaps unsurprising given Ms Truss’s decision to remain loyal to Mr Johnson, who has enjoyed staunch support from Lord Bamford since the pair worked together on the Vote Leave campaign in 2016.

Her leadership rival, Rishi Sunak, precipitated Mr Johnson’s fall from power when he joined Sajid Javid in resigning from the Cabinet last month.

Lord Bamford is not the first billionaire Tory donor to declare for Ms Truss. John Caudwell, the philanthropist and Phones4U founder, recently said he was backing her “on balance” because Mr Sunak had made a “complete and utter mess of the economy” when he was chancellor.

“Everything I’ve seen Rishi do has been bad and wrong,” the Mail on Sunday reported Mr Caudwell as saying. “He completely screwed it up. He made an absolute fiasco, and it’s what’s led to inflation today.”