Liz Truss has said she is “focused” on the “serious issues” facing the UK when challenged to call a general election during her debut appearance as Prime Minister in the Commons.
During her first edition of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, a Labour MP urged Ms Truss to take the country to the polls, insisting she does not have the support of the British public.
However, the Prime Minister said the UK wants a strong Government able to tackle the country’s “serious” challenges and not another election.
MP for Pontypridd Alex Davies-Jones said: “The new Prime Minister is now finally imposed. But make no mistake, she does not have the support of the British public. She can’t even rely on the backing of her own MPs, and people in Pontypridd will never forget that she played a key role in a government that failed millions.
“So, will she now finally do the right and decent thing and call a general election?”
The Labour MP’s question led to groans of dissent from the Tory benches.
The Prime Minister replied: “We are facing very serious issues as a country; partly as a result of the aftermath of Covid, partly as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine. What the British people want is, they want a Government that is going to sort it out.
“That is what I am determined to do as Prime Minister, sort out the energy crisis, get our economy going, make sure people can get doctor’s appointments. That’s what I’m focused on.”
Ms Truss was questioned by other MPs during the busy session on issues ranging from the NHS and her energy plans to female prime ministers.
Conservative former prime minister Theresa May asked Ms Truss why all three female prime ministers had been from the Tory party.
Maidenhead MP Mrs May told the Commons: “May I congratulate her and welcome her to her position as the third female prime minister.
“Can I ask her why does she think it is that all three female prime ministers have been Conservative?”
Ms Truss thanked her for her “fantastic question”, adding: “I look forward to calling on her advice from her time in office as I start my work as Prime Minister.
“It is quite extraordinary, isn’t it, that there doesn’t seem to be the ability in the Labour Party to find a female leader, or indeed a leader who doesn’t come from north London.”
To raucous cries from the Tory benches, Mr Truss added: “I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what the issue is.”
Earlier, the PM also found herself facing SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford for the first time. He said Ms Truss’s refusal to introduce a windfall tax will lead to a “Truss tax”, which he called “a decade-long raid on the bank accounts of ordinary taxpayers”.
Mr Blackford said: “On her first full day as Prime Minister, she has failed to rule out a Truss tax on household and businesses. Instead of targeting the profits of massive corporations with a windfall tax, the Prime Minister’s plan appears to be a decade-long raid on the bank accounts of ordinary taxpayers.
“These costs must not be passed on to consumers and businesses by deferring bills. Government must announce an enhanced windfall profits tax, making sure that those oil and gas producers pay their fair share from excess profits.
“Does the Prime Minister understand that her first act as Prime Minister will now define her? A Truss tax, that household and businesses will be paying for years to come.”
Ms Truss appeared to be confused by the SNP Westminster leader’s position and urged him to “make his mind up”.
She said: “Well, I’m not quite sure what the right honourable gentleman’s position is, because on one hand he doesn’t seem to want oil and gas extraction from the North Sea, and on the other hand he wants them to pay more taxes.
“Why doesn’t he make up his mind?”