After a chaotic term marred by economic turmoil and political squabbles, Liz Truss resigned eleven days ago as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as reported by The New York Times. Her resignation and the subsequent selection of her successor marks the third Prime Minister in seven weeks. The last of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 15 Prime Ministers, Liz Truss served for only 50 days before her abrupt resignation amidst a severe drop in the British Pound and a leadership crisis brought on by the resignations of several key leaders from Boris Johnson’s cabinet and Johnson himself.
The majority of both the Labour and Conservative parties, as well as their constituents, denounced Liz Truss’s brief yet truly chaotic period of leadership. A poll run by Politico showed she only had 10 percent of the UK’s adults supporting her. 80 percent stated they viewed her unfavorably. These numbers are the worst mainstream poll numbers ever recorded for a sitting Prime Minister. Boris Johnson, comparatively, polled at 20 percent approval, and Labour leader Keir Starmer polled at 41percent approval, according to The New Statesman.
Controversy has also risen over the fact that as a former Prime Minister, Liz Truss is entitled to a stipend of up to $129,000 a year for public engagements and duties. Many of her Conservative and Labour critics have suggested that she decline this stipend, since in the eyes of many of Truss’ fellow Members of Parliament, her gross negligence did not earn her this taxpayer-funded stipend.
After MP Truss announced her resignation on October 20, speculation ran rampant about who would succeed her. Rumors circulated that Boris Johnson might make a comeback to his former position. Another name circulated was Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the House of Commons. However, Johnson dropped out of the race and Mordaunt failed to gather a hundred supporters, making her ineligible.
Therefore, following a largely ceremonial vote on October 24, the new leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer under Mr. Johnson. He announced his confirmation immediately after meeting with The King at Buckingham Palace on October 25,. With this, Mr. Sunak has officially become the youngest Prime Minister in two hundred years, as well as the first Hindu PM, and the first of South Asian descent. The fifth Prime Minister from the Tory party in twelve years, Prime Minister Sunak has promised to bring economic and political prosperity back to the UK after Liz Truss’s failed administration.