Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
March 22, 2023

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Liz Truss in November 2021 Image: FCDO.

Tuesday, Mary Elizabeth “Liz” Truss became the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, succeeding Boris Johnson. On Monday, the Conservative Party elected her as its new leader.

Truss met with Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday at Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s summer residence in Scotland, where she proposed forming a new government and the Queen accepted. Prior to this, Johnson also met with the Queen and tendered his official resignation.

Truss, who was Foreign Secretary until today, defeated former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak yesterday in a vote among party members by a margin of 81,326 to 60,399 and became the leader of the party. Johnson’s successor had been in question since he announced his resignation in July amid pressure from high-profile scandals.

The United Kingdom is facing surging food and energy costs contributing to an inflation rate forecast to hit 13% in October, the highest in 42 years. Besides the economy, the war in Ukraine and tensions with the European Union are seen as challenges for Truss when she takes office, according to Reuters and Associated Press.

After the party vote, Truss said, “I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long term issues we have on energy supply.” In further comments, she also told the party: “I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people: Our beliefs in freedom, in the ability to control your own life, in low taxes, in personal responsibility. I know that’s why people voted for us in such numbers in 2019 and as your party leader I intend to deliver what we promised those voters right across our great country.”

In a brief message on Twitter, Sunak wrote: “It’s right we now unite behind the new PM, Liz Truss, as she steers the country through difficult times.”

Johnson also expressed support for Truss on Twitter, writing: “I know she has the right plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, unite our party and continue the great work of uniting and levelling up our country. Now is the time for all Conservatives to get behind her 100 percent.”

The opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer was critical of Truss’ proposed tax cuts and reductions in levies. “We’ve heard far more from the latest prime minister about cuts to corporation taxes over the summer, than we have about the cost-of-living crisis,” she said.

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