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‘Liz Truss is not stupid or thick – I knew she’d be Tory leader,’ says Labour councillor who served with her

London (25/08 – 35.00) A former Labour councillor who served alongside Liz Truss said the Tory leadership candidate is not “stupid or thick” as he predicted she would become the next prime minister.

Gary Parker, who was a councillor within Greenwich Borough Council at the same time as Ms Truss, told i the foreign secretary “certainly knew where was going” and that people who think she is “stupid or thick” are “very wide of the mark”.

Ms Truss served as a Tory Councillor within Greenwich Borough Council from 2006 to 2010, when she was elected as an MP.

Mr Parker said Ms Truss had a “limited input” in the council, as the Conservatives were in opposition at the time, adding that he believed the role was a “stepping stone” to her becoming an MP.

The former Labour councillor said he is not surprised to see Ms Truss in the running to become prime minister, adding that he has been predicting she will become leader of the Conservatives since the start of this year.

“I think she’s got a very good strategic brain and she certainly knows how to fulfil her goals and shouldn’t be underestimated,” he said.

Mr Parker also said he was “not overly convinced” of Ms Truss’ “conversion to the hard right”.

Ms Truss supported remain during the Brexit referendum and was a member of the Liberal Democrats during her student days.

However, she has now positioned herself to the right of the Tory party, winning the support of MPs such as Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

“I never thought of her as particularly right-wing. In fact I always thought of her as what she was for some time, which is a more liberal Cameron Conservative type,” Mr Parker said.

Ms Truss’ time within Greenwich Council, which has been in Labour control since the 1970s, also means she has experience of the “Labour hinterland, which I expect she will utilise to good effect”, Mr Parker added.