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Liz Truss wins party vote to become new UK PM

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Liz Truss wins party vote to become new UK PM

Liz Truss beats her rival Rishi Sunak by 81,326 votes to 60,399, after a summer-long internal contest sparked by Boris Johnson’s resignation in July.

The economy will likely dominate the first months of the new premier’s term, but Truss will also have to steer the UK on the international stage in the face of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The economy will likely dominate the first months of the new premier’s term, but Truss will also have to steer the UK on the international stage in the face of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
(Hannah McKay / File / Reuters Archive)

Liz Truss has won the ruling Conservative Party’s leadership contest and will become Britain’s new prime minister after replacing the ousted Boris Johnson. 

In Monday’s Conservative Party vote Truss secured 81,326 while her rival Rishi Sunak grabbed 60,399 votes. 

The party’s new leader will inherit a parliamentary majority and therefore become prime minister following formal handover procedures on Tuesday. 

Truss becomes the country’s third female prime minister following Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher.

Truss and her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, spent the summer rallying support among Conservative Party members who cast the final vote.

The 47-year-old consistently led 42-year-old Sunak in polling among the estimated 200,000 Tory members eligible to vote.

The leadership contest began in July after Johnson announced his departure following a slew of scandals and resignations from his government.

On Tuesday, Johnson will deliver a farewell speech at Downing Street, after which he will formally tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II, and she will appoint his successor in a so-called kissing of hands ceremony.


Public challenges

Truss faces a tough task in winning over general public opinion. A YouGov poll in late August found 52 percent thought Truss would make a “poor” or “terrible” prime minister, and forty-three percent said they did not trust her “at all” to deal with the burning issue of the rise in the cost of living.

Polls show public support for an early general election and the Conservatives face a growing challenge to retain their 12-year grip on power.

The winner of the race faces “the worst in-tray for a new prime minister since Thatcher”, The Sunday Times wrote, as the UK is gripped by its worst cost-of-living crisis in generations, with inflation soaring into double digits and energy prices shooting up on the back of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Turkish president, outgoing UK prime minister discuss bilateral ties

Plans amidst coming recession

Millions say that with bills set to rise by 80 percent from October – and even higher from January – they face a painful choice between eating and heating this winter, according to surveys.

British newspapers, including the Times and Daily Telegraph, reported on Monday that Truss was considering freezing energy bills for consumers, with the government reimbursing suppliers.

She has campaigned on a promise to slash taxes and prioritise economic growth, with Britain tipped to enter recession later this year, and has said that she would present a “full plan for how we are going to reduce taxes” and “get the British economy going” within a month. 

Truss became foreign minister a year ago after holding a series of ministerial posts in departments including education, international trade and justice.

READ MORE: What the fall of ‘Johnsonism’ could mean for Britain
Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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