Liz Truss is The UK Prime Minister, Replacing Boris Johnson

Written by on September 6, 2022

Liz Truss was on Monday announced as the UK’s next prime minister, after winning an internal leadership contest of the ruling Conservative party.

The foreign secretary beat her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, by 81,326 votes to 60,399, after a summer-long internal contest sparked by Boris Johnson’s resignation in July.

Truss becomesthe UK’s third female prime minister following Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher.

The 47-year-old has consistently led 42-year-old Sunak in polling among the estimated 200,000 Tory members eligible to vote.

The leadership contest began in July after Johnson announced his departure following a slew of scandals and resignations from his government.

Postal and online voting closed Friday after eight weeks of campaigning that Truss described to the BBC as “the longest job interview in history”.

Truss told the Daily Mail that as prime minister she would “do everything in my power to make sure everyone, no matter where they are from, has the opportunity to go as far as their talent and hard work takes them”.

However, she faces a tough task in winning over general public opinion.

A YouGov poll in late August found 52 percent thought Truss would make a “poor” or “terrible” prime minister.

Forty-three percent said they did not trust her “at all” to deal with the burning issue of the rise in the cost of living.

– ‘Worst in-tray’ –

Whoever emerges as winner faces “the worst in-tray for a new prime minister since Thatcher”, The Sunday Times wrote.

The UK is gripped by its worst cost-of-living crisis in generations, with inflation soaring into double digits and energy prices shooting up on the back of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Millions say that with bills set to rise by 80 percent from October — and even higher from January — they face a painful choice between eating and heating this winter, according to surveys.

“If I’m elected prime minister, I will act immediately on bills and on energy supply,” Truss told the BBC on Sunday, while declining to go into details.

British newspapers, including the Times and Daily Telegraph, reported Monday that she was considering freezing energy bills for consumers, with the government reimbursing suppliers.

Truss has campaigned on a promise to slash taxes and prioritise economic growth, with Britain tipped to enter recession later this year.

She said Sunday she would “within a month present a full plan for how we are going to reduce taxes” and “get the British economy going”.

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