Liz Truss Resigns As UK Prime Minister

U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation on Thursday.

Truss, who only became prime minister on Sept. 6, will be the shortest serving prime minister in modern political history.

“I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” Truss said.

Her resignation follows weeks of political and economic crisis, after the government introduced a new “mini-budget” which was roundly criticized.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has called for a general election. The Conservative Party, then under the leadership of Boris Johnson, won a large majority in the last general election in 2019.

Whoever is chosen as Truss’s successor from the Conservative Party ranks will become the fifth prime minister since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in the Brexit referendum of 2016 in an unprecedented period of turbulence in British political history.

From outside the steps of Number 10 Downing Street, Truss said a leadership election would take place over the next seven days.


Liz Truss is gone. What happens next?


Liz Truss’s tenure as prime minister has ended in record time, and an accelerated leadership contest has been announced to replace her.

In her resignation speech, Truss said a contest would take place within a week. While the exact process for the contest has yet to be revealed, it seems unlikely that there will be a repeat of the two-month marathon contest that followed the toppling of Boris Johnson.

Under current Conservative Party rules, those wishing to stand for leader must put themselves forward to a vote by the 357 members of the parliamentary party. The top two candidates from that process go forward to a second round of grassroots party members.

It seems clear that won’t happen this time. Instead, there is speculation that a new leader will likely be chosen by Conservative MPs alone, without going to the membership.

A so-called unity candidate who can claim to mend the fissures in the party will likely look to garner enough support among MPs to win the race quickly.

Details of how exactly the contest will occur will be announced soon.

But such a rushed process will only increase opposition calls for a general election; it is virtually unprecedented, in peacetime, for a third prime minister to take charge since the last general election.

Truss was chosen by a few thousand Conservative members – if her successor is chosen by just 357 Tory MPs, the Labour Party will undoubtedly demand the leader seek a fresh mandate at the ballot box.


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