Liz Truss rally at Athelhampton House Dorchester

Liz Truss led her campaign to become Prime Minister in Dorset.

She met supporters and members of the South Dorset Conservatives at a leadership rally at Athelhampton House, near Dorchester.

The whirlwind visit came during Ms Truss’ UK tour of Tory hearts to drum up support in the Tory leadership race against Rishi Sunak.

West Dorset MP Chris Loder introduced the Foreign Secretary to party members at the event.

She then emerged to answer questions from the media and pose for photos with supporters.

The visit to the region took place on the same day Ms Truss embarrassingly backed away from her leadership policy to ‘wage war on Whitehall’s rubbish’ by introducing regional remuneration commissions to set the salaries of civil servants , depending on where they live.

She said: “I’m afraid my policy on this has been misrepresented. It was never my intention to change the terms of service for teachers and nurses.

“But what I want to be clear is that I will not be going ahead with regional compensation commissions. It’s no longer my policy.

When asked later if it was an error in judgement, she replied: “I don’t want to worry people, I don’t want them to worry. We’re not going to continue with regional compensation.

“I’m honest and upfront and clear about it.”

The former Trade Secretary and MP for South West Norfolk also met a young supporter and said she had already enjoyed her holiday in the county during a break in Swanage.

Ms Truss promised to support households facing spiraling energy bills this winter.

She said: “We are facing a very, very serious crisis. As Prime Minister, I would take immediate action to reduce green levies on energy bills. I will work very hard with the private sector to help make in the face of this crisis.

“I understand that families are suffering from the costs and I will do everything I can to help them.”

When Ms Truss was asked about the difficulties faced by first-time home buyers in Dorset, she said: ‘I want to help people in rural areas move up the housing ladder. I want the rents that people pay help to enable them to get a mortgage.”

She added that she wanted to “get rid of the top-down housing policy dictated by Whitehall”.

Among supporters at the rally was Dorset Councilor Louis O’Leary, who represents Littlemoor and Preston.

He said: “I support Liz because she is a real conservative. We need good government and I think she can provide it.”

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