The National:

THE Tory leadership battle has at times felt less like a race to replace Boris Johnson and more like a contest to imitate Margaret Thatcher.

The former Conservative prime minister has loomed large over the Tory leadership candidates, with all of them desperate to bask in her reflected glory.

Rishi Sunak has consistently said he will run the economy like Thatcher in his pitch for the keys to No 10, and Tom Tugendhat referenced both her and Winston Churchill in his opening speech to the online leadership hustings on Friday.

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Penny Mordaunt quoted Thatcher when asked about trans rights, a wedge issue which the other candidates have tried to use against her.

And the Jouker hasn’t forgotten Kemi Badenoch’s “very supportive” response to the suggestion of creating a “Margaret Thatcher day”.

But not even that can compare to Liz Truss.

The foreign secretary, who seems to be pitching for leader on the “we won’t change anything Boris Johnson was doing” ticket, raised more than a few eyebrows during her appearance at the Channel 4 leadership debate.

Not content with simply name-dropping Thatcher, Truss seemed to have dressed up as the “Iron Lady”.

Andrew Gunn wrote on Twitter: “For the #C4LeaderDebate Liz Truss has recreated Margaret Thatcher’s appearance from her 1979 election broadcast down to the last detail.”

He shared two images of the women, who seemed to be wearing nearly identical outfits.

Journalist Carlton Reid wrote: “Truss – in her cosplay Thatcher outfit – has been predictably poor and would clearly make an awful PM. Shuddering, therefore, to remember she’s the current foreign secretary.”

Hasan Patel added: “This sycophant obsession from Liz Truss towards Margaret Thatcher borders on scary. Liz, you’re not like her because right or wrong she had conviction and you don’t, if you still were a LibDem would you dress like Paddy Ashdown?”

While Thatcher famously said she was “not for turning”, Truss was an ardent LibDem in her younger days, and opposed Brexit just a few years ago.

Journalist Jay Rayner quipped: “Truss, a Thatcher tribute act, who can’t understand why she doesn’t get any gigs, and her agent keeps dodging her calls.”