Liz Truss Resigns as U.K. Prime Minister

Michael Morano
International/U.S. News Editor

Liz Truss, the now former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has announced her resignation after just 44 days in office. This makes her the shortest serving Prime Minister in British history.

Truss announcing her resignation in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in London (Photo courtesy of BBC News)

Her announcement came on October 20 following weeks of political mishaps and questionable policy choices. Her opponent in the recent election, fellow Conservative party member Rishi Sunak, will now take her place as the new Tory party leader and Prime Minister of the country, making him the first PM of color in British history. His role as the new PM will be made official in a ceremony where he will be invited by King Charles III to form a government.

Truss’ short time as PM was faced with many challenges from the start. She was thrust into a country dealing with rising inflation, energy costs, and the war in Ukraine, all while trying to console a nation rocked by the death of her late majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her administration’s first major mistake came on September 23, when Kwasi Kwarteng, her finance minister, introduced a new shift in the country’s economic plan, which would cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy, but with no plans for how to pay for it. This caused the British pound’s value to drastically drop, making the UK’s central bank raise interest rates, and make the cost of living even higher. This was followed with the resignation of Truss’ Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the suspension of her top aide Jason Stein. The final blow was a controversial vote on banning fracking proposed by the opposing Labour party, during which the Conservatives threatened to expel members from the party if they didn’t vote against the Labours’ move.

Sunak in his first public address as the new Prime Minister (Photo courtesy of The New York Times)

After Truss’ announcement, the Conservatives began the process for choosing their new leader. For one to be selected, candidates from the party would have to receive 100 nominations from other Tory members in Parliament, which meant that there would only be three candidates. The list would be shortened to two, and the members would then vote to choose the winner, which is Rishi Sunak. He now becomes Britain’s third leader in two months, as well as the country’s first Prime Minister of Asian descent. In his first public speech, Sunak thanked Truss for her leadership efforts and called for unity among Britons as the nation continues to handle the “profound economic challenge.” His win is also being celebrated in India, as he was born to Indian parents and is a practicing Hindu. He has received congratulations from former Prime Ministers as well as world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.


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