Liz Truss to become new Prime Minister

Liz Truss. Editorial credit: Clicksbox / Shutterstock.com

Conservative Party members have elected Liz Truss as their new leader which means that she will replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister tomorrow.

Truss, 47, received 81,326 (57%) of the membership’s votes compared to 60,399 (43%) for her rival Rishi Sunak.

Around 172,000 Tory party members had the right to vote in the contest but the general public was excluded.

At the moment the Tories are trailing Labour by at least 10 points in the polls so a General Election isn’t expected for a few more years.

Following her victory Truss said: “During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern as a conservative. And my friends, 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. 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. And I will deliver on the National Health Service

“But we all will deliver for our country. And I will make sure that we use all the fantastic talents of the Conservative party, our brilliant members of parliament and peers, our fantastic counsellors, our MSs, our MSPs, all of our councillors and activists and members right across our country. Because, my friends, I know that we will deliver, we will deliver and we will deliver. And we will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024. Thank you.”

Truss used to be a left-wing activist in her childhood and a Liberal Democrat in her early adulthood. At the party’s 1994 conference she spoke in favour of abolishing the monarchy, telling delegates in Brighton: “We Liberal Democrats believe in opportunity for all. We do not believe people are born to rule.”

But while studying at Oxford, Ms Truss switched to the Conservatives.

After graduating she worked as an accountant for Shell and Cable & Wireless, and married fellow accountant Hugh O’Leary in 2000. The couple have two children.

Conservative leader David Cameron put Ms Truss on his “A-list” of priority candidates for the 2010 election and she was selected to stand for the safe seat of South West Norfolk.

But she quickly faced a battle against de-selection by the constituency Tory association, after it was revealed she had had an affair with Tory MP Mark Field some years earlier.

The effort to oust her failed and Ms Truss went on to win the seat by more than 13,000 votes.

In 2012 she entered government as an education minister and in 2014 was promoted to environment secretary.

Ms Truss campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum, but after her side lost she changed her mind, arguing that Brexit provided an opportunity to “shake up the way things work.”

Under Theresa May’s premiership, she served as justice secretary before moving on to become chief secretary to the Treasury.

When Boris Johnson became prime minister in 2019, Ms Truss was moved to international trade secretary.

And in 2021, she moved to one of the most senior jobs in government, taking over from Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary.

As Foreign Secretary she has been an ardent advocate of confronting Russia and has expressed unequivocal support for Israel.

Pressed on how she would tackle the cost of living crisis at home, she has said she will focus her efforts on “lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts.”

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