Liz Truss Thursday became the British Prime Minister with the shortest-ever time in office after submitting her resignation, although she managed to serve under two different monarchs.
Truss' decision came amid a severe crisis among Conservatives, despite which she announced there will be a party leadership election next week to maintain economic stability and national security. Until then, she will remain head of government.
Truss's replacement will be the third prime minister in just over two months, and the fifth in the last 6 years since David Cameron stepped down after losing the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Truss' budget contained a colossal spending increase to counter the global energy crisis over the next two years and an equally colossal tax cut for the rich and against corporations, it was reported. The markets gave it the thumbs down from day one. Last Friday, amid a run on the pound and sovereign bonds, Kwasi Kwarteng resigned as counselor of the exchequer, and Jeremy
Hunt reversed almost every measure at the heart of Truss's economic program.
Labour opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer insisted on the need for general elections saying the Conservative Party has no mandate to govern after 12 years of failure.
According to a recent YouGov poll, Truss has a 10% approval rating among the British public, while Boris Johnson, who resigned in disgrace in July, reached 29%. According to a previous YouGov poll, Russian President Vladimir Putin sttands at 4% among the British public.
According to The Times of London, Johnson is among the short-listed candidates to replace Truss and return to 10 Downing St.
“I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected,” the 47-year-old Truss said a day after pledging to remain in office as “a fighter, not a quitter.”
Truss’ fate was sealed Wednesday when Home Secretary Suella Braverman stepped down and a House of Commons vote on a controversial fracking proposal, endorsed by Truss but opposed by members of her party, descended into disarray.
Truss’ brief tenure had already seen soaring mortgage rates, a plummeting pound, and a chaotic bond market, in addition to gloomy prospects with the current global scenario and the Ukraine crisis.
Truss and Kwarteng had fashioned their tax-cutting plan after 1980s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but support among investors and blue-collar party loyalists collapsed when the pair failed to explain how revenue lost by the cuts would be restored.
In addition to Johnson, Hunt had also been regarded as a possible replacement, had he not announced over the weekend and before Truss' resignation that he would not run for that position ever again after two failed attempts. ”The desire to be a leader has been clinically excised from me,” Hunt explained.
Conservative Rishi Sunak, who finished second to Truss in this summer’s leadership race to replace Johnson, is also a top contender. During the race, he had warned of the economic consequences of Truss’s leadership plan.
House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and popular Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also enjoyed support among MPs.
Starmer called for an immediate general election shortly after Truss made her announcement, saying his party would offer the “stability, leadership and vision Britain needs.”
Truss had been welcomed into office by Queen Elizabeth II days before the monarch died last month.
Several Tory MPs suggested Johnson should be reinstated, the Times said. Johnson is vacationing in the Dominican Republic.