About 160,000 grassroots members of the Conservative Party have selected 47-year-old Liz Truss to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Britain.Truss also becomes the new leader of the party after an internal contest.The 160,000 figure represents less than one per cent of United Kingdom (U.K.’s) 67 million population. The announcement was made on Monday.
Truss will be sworn in on Tuesday.With the development, Britain will get its third Prime Minister in just over three years.
Truss replaces Boris Johnson, a controversial maverick who defied many of Britain’s political traditions.Truss served in Johnson’s administration, first as a Trade Minister and then as Foreign Secretary. She has taken a hardline stance on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Johnson resigned in July after senior members of his administration turned against him amid a series of scandals connected to breaking his own coronavirus lockdown rules and waning appetite for his brand of populist politics. Because Britain elects a party, not a specific leader, the party in power has some scope to swap in a new prime minister.
The new prime minister takes office on Tuesday and assumes power as household energy bills in the U.K. soar to unaffordable levels for millions of people.
Truss has sought to portray herself as the political heir to Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s “Iron Lady” and first female leader who advocated with zeal for free markets, lower taxes and the privatisation of large state enterprises from telecoms to energy.
Truss defeated Rishi Sunak to become Britain’s new Prime Minister.“The thread that runs through Truss’ career is a belief in small government,” Daniel Hannan, a former Conservative party politician, wrote in an opinion piece published on his website.
Hannan is now known as Lord Hannan of Kingsclere in the House of Lords, the unelected upper House of Parliament to which he was appointed by Johnson.