Britain’s Conservative Party has declared Liz Truss as its new leader, and she will be formally appointed as the next prime minister by Queen Elizabeth, possibly on Tuesday afternoon. Her win follows a nationwide vote by the party’s grassroots members that lasted several weeks this summer.
Due to the win, Truss officially becomes the country’s 4th leader in a politically turbulent six-year period.
This milestone marks the only third time in history a woman will assume power in 10 Downing Street and the third time in recent years that a change of prime minister has occurred without a national general election. Truss replaces Boris Johnson, who had been laid low by a succession of scandals that crescendoed in the first half of this year.
Boris lost the support of most of his fellow Conservative legislators and many of his ministers and was forced to resign.
“I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy,” Truss said in her victory speech, adding that she will also take on challenges from high energy bills to the National Health Service. Amid the summer, Truss had campaigned against Rishi Sunak, the U.K’s former finance minister who was her rival for the Conservative leadership.
The votes of 142,000 party members decided the contest, and Truss secured over 81,000 of those votes.
As a new leader, Truss will immediately face responsibility for a rapidly escalating energy crisis in Britain, with both consumers and companies facing record high gas and electricity costs, thanks to the war in Ukraine and the corresponding rise in inflation threatening to tip the country into a major recession. “We will deliver, we will deliver, and we will deliver, she had echoed as a campaign theme.
She added: “And we will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024,” – when the next national elections are slated to be held.
However, Truss, who had been dubbed ‘PM in waiting by a British newspaper, had said in an interview with the BBC over the weekend that she would formulate proposals to combat the economic challenge within days and is aiming to act immediately. On the other hand, she had previously served as foreign minister for 12 months.