After a far-right campaign on a promise of tax cuts, she became the third British female head of government, after Margaret Thatcher (1979–1990) and Theresa May (2016–2019), in the midst of an economic crisis. Rising energy bills have led to a historic fall in purchasing power.
Upon his return from Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II officially invited him to form a government to replace Boris Johnson, who gave 10 Downing Street his top three priorities: the economic situation, the energy crisis and public health.
“We must not be daunted by the challenges we face,” he urged dozens of MPs, who took shelter from the pouring rain minutes before his arrival. “I know that the British people are as strong as the storm. (…) I firmly believe that together we can weather the storm and rebuild our economy.
read more: For the British press, Liz Truss will suffer in the country’s economic turmoil
He reiterated his “bold plan” of tax cuts and his promises to act “this week” to help families strangled by energy bills. It is set to announce a multi-billion-pound plan on Thursday to freeze electricity and gas prices, which are expected to rise by 80% in October, according to British media.
The former diplomatic chief has said he wants to defend “freedom and democracy everywhere in the world with the United Kingdom’s allies”, with a bellicose tone willingly against Russia or China.
Boris Johnson pledges his support
The day after being elected leader of the Conservative Party majority, Liz Truss, elected by 57% of the Conservative Party’s 142,000 voting members, to 43% for her rival Rishi Sunak, was received by the Queen at Balmoral Castle, Scotland. Elizabeth II chose this unusual arrangement to avoid returning to London, where she had difficulty getting around.
read more: Liz Truss, the “New Thatcher” as Head of the British Government
Footage from the audience shows the Queen with a cane, wearing a tartan skirt and cardigan, shaking hands with the 15th Prime Minister of her 70-year reign. Two months after announcing his departure, Boris Johnson went ahead to Balmoral to hand in his resignation, which the Queen “graciously accepted”.
In a brief speech outside Downing Street in the early hours of the morning, Boris Johnson praised his own achievement to supporters and aides. He compared himself to a “rocket that has accomplished its mission” and re-entered the atmosphere. “I will extend my full support to this government,” he promised.
Quit Brexit hero: After three years and 44 days, Boris Johnson left what he called “the best job in the world” in 2019, ahead of his replacement Theresa May, after a series of scandals prompted dozens of resignations. His close entourage in early July.
Liz Truss, who faces Opposition Leader Keir Starmer on Wednesday during a question-and-answer session in Parliament, is due to name key ministers from her team in the evening and Wednesday morning. His finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, 47, who has so far been energy secretary, is a supporter of a more modest state like Liz Truss and a more deregulated economy. Suella Braverman, 42, the government’s legal adviser and early prime ministerial candidate, was approached at the Interior Ministry. On the right, she will receive the file of thousands of illegal immigrants who have arrived on British shores, which her predecessor wanted to send to Rwanda.
read more: Liz Truss is not the Thatcher you think she is
James Cleverley, 53, the education minister, is to move to the Foreign Office after being secretary for European affairs, and Ben Wallace will remain at the Ministry of Defence. Kwasi Kwarteng is of Ghanaian descent, Suella Braverman is of Indian descent, and James Cleverly’s mother is from Sierra Leone, unheard of diversity in these key positions.
Liz Truss has a lot to do to bring a divided Conservative Party back to power after 12 years and is far behind Labor in an election two years before the next general election is scheduled.
Our latest report: “Nothing works in England”: the great British grumble
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