Liz Truss was named as the UK’s next Prime Minister today, winning an internal leadership contest of the ruling Conservative party at a time when the country faces an industrial unrest and a recession.
She beat her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, by 81,326 votes to 60,399, after a summer-long often bad-tempered and divisive party leadership contest sparked by Boris Johnson’s resignation in July.
“We need to show that we will deliver over the next two years. I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy,” Truss said after the result was announced.
“I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”
Liz Truss, 47, will be only the UK’s third female Prime Minister following Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher
The announcement triggers the start of a handover from Boris Johnson, who was forced to announce his resignation in July after months of scandal saw support for his administration drain away.
He will travel to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday to officially tender his resignation. Truss will follow him and be asked to form a government by the monarch.
Long the front-runner in the race to replace Johnson, Truss will become the Conservatives’ fourth prime minister since a 2015 election.
Over that period the country has been buffeted from crisis to crisis, and now faces what is forecast to be a long recession triggered by sky-rocketing inflation which hit 10.1% in July.
Truss campaigned on a platform of slashing taxes and bulldozing bureaucratic “orthodoxy”, particularly in the finance ministry where she once worked.
Truss faces a long, costly and difficult to-do list, which opposition lawmakers say is the result of 12 years of poor Conservative government. Several have called for an early election – something Truss has said she will not allow.