Prime Minister Liz Truss, who has been under increasing pressure from Conservative MPs, has announced that she will step down from her position, making her the third Prime Minister to take office in Britain in the past three months.
The Chancellor was recently replaced as a result of the Prime Minister’s budgetary plans, the centrepiece of which included unfunded tax cuts that severely alarmed the markets.
Ms. Truss stated that a “leadership election
Speaking to a nation that had just experienced a summer and early autumn of political unrest and economic turmoil from behind a lectern outside No. 10 Downing Street.
Where she had previously stood only 45 days earlier after being appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by the late Queen Elizabeth II, Ms. Truss announced her decision.
The departing prime minister claimed she took office during a period of significant economic and international unrest, when families and businesses were concerned about how they would pay their bills.
She claimed that the Conservative Party had chosen her with the goal of lowering taxes and bringing back high growth in order to address the “low growth” that was holding the U.K. back.
She continued, “I recognise though given this situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” and she had spoken to King Charles III and informed him of her intention to resign as party leader.
Additionally, Ms. Truss stated that a “leadership election” will be “completed in the next week” after she met with Sir Graham Brady, the powerful 1922 Committee’s Chairman, on Thursday morning.
The backing of the 1922 Committee, a group of backbencher MPs who meet twice a week when the House of Commons is in session, is essential for Ms. Truss.
Mr. Graham was questioned about accepting that the entire situation was a “dog’s dinner” when he spoke to the media later.
“I would certainly not want to see that situation,” he said.
Mini-budget gone wrong
The current administration has suffered a number of high-profile resignations recently, and Ms. Truss’ departure is the final blow. A botched mini-budget that shook the markets forced former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng to resign last Friday.
Suella Braverman, the home secretary, resigned just on Thursday. Her purported reason for doing so was that she did not adhere to security procedures when sending an email.
However, she had expressed “concerns” about the government’s “direction” in her letter, which was made public.
The British Parliament was in a state of chaos on Thursday as well, with reports of Tory leaders allegedly manhandling MPs in an effort to get them to support the government during a vote on fracking that had been proposed by Labour.
In all of this, there was also ambiguity regarding whether the Chief Whip and Deputy Whip for the Conservative Party had resigned (it was later confirmed that they had not).
The former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reportedly considering a return to No. 10 shortly after Ms. Truss’ resignation was made public on Thursday. The Times reported that Mr. Johnson thought it was in the “national interest.”
After a contest that lasted through August and saw Ms. Truss win a majority of the roughly 160,000 votes cast by Conservative members, Ms. Truss was appointed to her leadership position as a result of Mr. Johnson being removed from office in early July.
On Thursday afternoon, a number of Tory MPs tweeted their support for Mr. Johnson, noting that he was the only candidate (among those who might replace Mr. Truss) to have won a general election and received a mandate from all 50 states.
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Mr. Sunak had left Mr. Johnson’s Cabinet
On Thursday, a number of candidates from the August election made a comeback, including former Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Ms. Truss had continued in her role as foreign secretary while Mr. Sunak had left Mr. Johnson’s Cabinet.
The “disloyalty” of Mr. Sunak to Mr. Johnson contributed to his defeat by Ms. Truss in the summer, and it is a difficulty he will still have to overcome in any intra-party contest.
On Thursday, other names that were mentioned included Ms. Braverman, the leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, the secretary of defence Ben Wallace, and the secretary of international trade Kemi Badenoch.
Kier Starmer, the leader of Labour, argued on Thursday that the Conservatives had done “huge damage” to the nation’s reputation and that the public was dealing with higher prices and mortgages while promoting the idea that Labour would form a stable government.
Therefore, a chaotic cycle is unacceptable. The public must vote in a general election so they can “make up their minds about this chaos,” he continued. “We can’t have another experiment at the top of the Conservative party.”
This complete disarray cannot be adequately expressed in words. It goes beyond hyperbole and parody, said Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a tweet, adding that the cost was being paid by regular people and that holding elections was a “democratic imperative.”
Nobody right now should be concerned about the Tory party’s interests. Now more than ever, a general election is necessary for democracy, she claimed.