'Frankly laughable' - Conservative leadership contender Liz Truss ridiculed for referring to Roundhay as 'the heart of the red wall'

Conservative party leadership contender Liz Truss has attracted ridicule after referring to her childhood in Roundhay as having grown up in the "red wall".

The "red-wall" is a term for working class communities, mainly in the north of England, which traditionally voted Labour in general elections.

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But Roundhay, where semi-detached houses sell for an average of £350,000, sits in the Leeds Northeast constituency, which produced conservative MPs until 1997.

Liz Truss spent part of her childhood in Roundhay. (Pic: Getty)

Ms Truss has since been called out by the current Leeds Northeast MP Fabian Hamilton (Lab), who claims her comments show her up as "out of touch".

Ms Truss wrote in an op-ed for The Telegraph: "I grew up in Leeds, at the heart of the Red Wall. I was educated at a comprehensive school in the city and went to primary school in Scotland. I got where I am today through working hard and focusing on results.

"My journey was possible through aspiration, ambition and enterprise."

Ms Truss was born in Oxford before her family eventually moved to Leeds when her father got a job at the University.

Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds Northeast, said today: "The suggestion that Roundhay is a red wall area is frankly laughable and shows how out of touch Liz Truss and the Conservatives are when it comes to the North.

"I became the first Labour MP for the area in 1997. Before then, North East Leeds was represented by Conservative MPs and mostly Conservative local councillors.

"But over the past 25 years, the people of Roundhay have strongly rejected the Conservatives at the ballot box time and time again, and over the past 12 years they’ve rejected the Conservatives at Council level too, because they know that only Labour will deliver for them."

Ms Truss attracted controversy back in 2020 when she made a speech claiming to have received an education that was obsessed with racism and sexism.

She said: "As a comprehensive school student in Leeds in the 1980s and 1990s, I was struck by the lip service that was paid to equality by the city council while children from disadvantaged backgrounds were let down.

"While we were taught about racism and sexism, there was too little time spent making sure everyone could read and write."

"Rather than promote policies that would have been a game changer for the disenfranchised like better education and business opportunities, there was a preference for symbolic gestures."

Leeds City Council's cabinet member for learning, skills, employment and equality, Jonathan Pryor, accused Ms Truss of having a "poor recollection" of Leeds schools in the 1980s.