LONDON: Liz Truss was named as Britain’s next prime minister on Monday, winning a leadership race for the governing Conservative party at a time when the country faces a cost of living crisis, industrial unrest and a recession.
After weeks of an often bad-tempered and divisive leadership contest that saw the foreign minister face off against former finance minister Rishi Sunak, Truss came out on top in a vote of Conservative Party members, winning by 81,326 votes to 60,399.
“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.”
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.
Foreign minister under Boris Johnson, Truss, 47, has promised to act quickly to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis, saying that within a week she will come up with a plan to tackle rising energy bills and securing future fuel supplies.
Truss has signalled during her leadership campaign she would challenge convention by scrapping tax increases and cutting other levies in a move some economists say would fuel inflation.
That, plus a pledge to review the remit of the Bank of England while protecting its independence, has prompted some investors to dump the pound and government bonds.