A stalwart Conservative councillor has scathingly described Liz Truss' brief premiership as a "shambles".

Cllr Heather Scott, former Darlington Borough Council leader and Conservative group leader for 15 years, said: "I’m very pleased that Liz Truss has gone.

"I think it’s been an absolute disaster for everybody, for the country.

"I didn’t support her in the first place and I think it’s just been a complete waste of time and shambles. Most of the people that I talk to think the same.

"Everybody is absolutely fed up with it all. It’s a fiasco."

The Northern Echo: Heather Scott Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Speaking about what should happen next, she said: "I don’t think anybody wants a general election.

"Whilst the last two or three years haven’t been great for us, it has been an awful lot better than under a Labour Government.

"As far as I’m concerned, in Darlington we’ve got so much under a Conservative Government and a Conservative-controlled council. All the things that we’ve achieved, I would hate for all that to be lost.

“Hopefully they may be able to find somebody that everybody can agree with. Somebody who can continue the good work that’s been done so far with the party.

“I think it needs to be somebody who does have fiscal management but can take care of those people that need help.

“With the problems that’s we’ve got, the cost of living, inflation and the cost of utilities, we need somebody that can deal with that fairly quickly and get us back on an even keel.

“The sooner the better and we can move on.”

Read more: North East Conservative MPs react to Liz Truss's resignation

Councillor Richard Bell, deputy leader of Durham County Council and Durham’s Conservative group leader, said: “I’m sad for Liz Truss personally. She made one big mistake and has not been able to recover from it.

“But despite all the media noise, the day-to-day business of government and councils goes on unaffected.  Everybody is continuing to work as normal.

“We need someone that will restore Britain’s reputation as a well-run economy, and Jeremy Hunt has made a good start on that. Someone who will get interest rates and inflation down, and press ahead with the levelling up agenda and get projects delivered.

“I’d like to see less talk and more action from all the national politicians.”

The Northern Echo: Cllr Richard Bell. Picture: Sarah Caldecott.Cllr Richard Bell. Picture: Sarah Caldecott.

Asked about calls for a general election, he said: “We elect MPs on a party manifesto, and provided they broadly stick to that manifesto, there is no need for a new election.

“The last thing the country needs right now is the instability of an election campaign.”

Councillor Alan Marshall, Conservative member for Mowden and Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for the economy, had called for MPs to unite behind Liz Truss before her resignation.

After her resignation he said: “I’m staggered.

“It’s decisive. It’s one of the few things that has been. Let’s see what happens. It’s a question of ‘watch this space’.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Alan Marshall. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.Cllr Alan Marshall. Picture: Darlington Borough Council. (Image: Durham County Council)

“My hopes were that she would show some leadership and get the MPs to coalesce around her to move things forward.

“I just have to hope that the next one can do that. But I don’t know how any one person can bring all of the MPs with them.

“My view is there’s always going to be to factions, it would appear. I hope there isn’t, but that’s my fear, that we just end up with more of the same.”

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