Liz Truss resigns as British prime minister after 45 days

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation Thursday after just 45 days on the job. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
1 of 4 | British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation Thursday after just 45 days on the job. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Just 45 days into the job, much of it swirling in controversy, British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation on Thursday, stunning the political establishment.

Complaints about Truss and her plans grew louder not only from her opponents but fellow Conservatives for weeks, starting with a tax cut plan that led to the devaluation of the British pound and a bruising resignation letter from ex-Home Secretary Suella Braverman.


The departure of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, the author of the "mini-budget" tax cut plan she initially embraced, and Braverman, along with confusion over fracking legislation Wednesday night appeared to be the tipping point for Truss.

"We delivered on energy bills and on cutting national insurance," Truss said in her resignation speech Thursday, according to The Guardian. "And we set out a vision for a low tax, high growth economy -- that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.


"I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party."

Truss will remain as prime minister until a successor is chosen, with new leadership elections coming within weeks.

Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, said it will be possible to conduct a leadership ballot by Oct. 28, a lightning-fast move by British political standards.

"I have spoken to the party chairman, Jake Berry, and he has confirmed that it will be possible to conduct a ballot and conclude a leadership election by Friday the 28th of October," Brady said, according to The Guardian. "So, we should have a new leader in place before the fiscal statement which will take place on the 31st."

Her departure makes her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. She replaced Boris Johnson this summer, who was forced out by his party after questions were raised about his character amid a string of scandals.

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party called Truss's resignation and the current state of British politics "beyond hyperbole and parody." She called for a national election.


"There are no words to describe this utter shambles adequately," she said on Twitter. "Reality [though] is that ordinary people are paying the price. The interests of the Tory party should concern no one right now. A general election is now a democratic imperative."

Labor Party Leader Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey also called for new general elections.

"After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos," Starmer said, according to The Guardian. "In the last few years, the Tories have set record-high taxation, trashed our institutions and created a cost-of-living crisis."

Conservatives, though, ignored calls for an election and moved forward with a speedy process to name the next prime minister. Brady said nominations will close Monday afternoon. He said the nominees will need the support of 100 Conservative members to be put on the ballot, which could lead to as many as three candidates.

Once the ballot is established voting will take place on Oct. 28. Brady said if there are three candidates, the one with the fewest votes on the first ballot will be dropped and a second vote would take place. He said the winner will be announced that evening.


Supporters of Boris Johnson, who was forced to resign in the summer leading to the elevation of Truss are calling on him to run again along with Rishi Sunak, who finished second to Truss in the last leadership election.

Support for Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis has emerged along with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and the ex-Home Secretary Braverman.

In a White House statement, U.S. President Joe Biden thanked Truss for her support "on a range of issues" including Britain's continued support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

"The United States and the United Kingdom are strong allies and enduring friends and that fact will never change," Biden said. "We will continue our close cooperation with the U.K. government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face.

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