Liz Truss to be next British Prime Minister | TBEN | 05.09.2022

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Liz Truss has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and will be Britain’s new prime minister, party officials announced Monday.

She will take over from Boris Johnson, who announced his resignation in July after a slew of scandals and his government resigned.

Truss, the current foreign minister, was mandated by members of the ruling party to lead the country after a protracted six-week campaign against former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

She and Johnson will travel to Scotland on Tuesday to meet Queen Elizabeth II for the official transfer of power.

What should the Prime Minister do first?

Truss promised to “deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow the economy.”

She faces “the worst in-tray for a new prime minister since Thatcher”, the… Sunday Times wrote, referring to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Topping the list is tackling the cost of living in the UK.

“I will live up to the energy crisis, deal with people’s energy bills, but also deal with the long-term problems we have with the energy supply,” she said during her acceptance speech.

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Thanks to global gas price volatility, partly caused by the war in Ukraine, the average UK household energy bill is rising to more than £3,500 ($4,000; €4,041) a year. The UK faces decades of high inflation and threatens to plunge into recession later this year.

She previously declined to comment on a report that her energy plan could exceed £100 billion, but the legislator tipped to be her finance minister, Affairs Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, wrote Monday that the government could afford it. borrow more to support households and businesses.

Truss also indicated during her leadership campaign that she would challenge the convention by doing away with tax increases and cutting other charges.

What foreign policy issues does the UK’s new leader face?

The new prime minister will also have to steer the UK on the international stage with Russia’s war in Ukraine, an increasingly assertive China and ongoing tensions with the European Union over the aftermath of Brexit at the top of that agenda.

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Truss said she would tear up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, a move that could lead to new barriers to trade or even legal trouble with the EU.

A bill to unilaterally abolish some customs controls to ease goods traffic between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain is making its way through the UK Parliament, and Truss said last month that if elected as Prime Minister she would would try that legislation in full.

World leaders react to Liz Truss victory

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Truss on her new role. He said Germany looked forward to “our cooperation in these challenging times.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We face many challenges together, from climate change to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I look forward to a constructive relationship, in full respect of our agreements.”

Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheal Martin said he looked forward to working with Truss as his country’s “near neighbour”, adding that together they face significant challenges.

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French President Emmanuel Macron – whom Truss recently suggested could be an ‘enemy’ of the UK – also congratulated Truss, sending his congratulations from all over France. He said he was “ready to work together as friends and allies”.

Truss ready to meet the queen

Johnson will deliver a farewell address in Downing Street on Tuesday. Johnson and Truss travel to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth II.

He will formally resign and the Queen will designate his successor in a so-called hand-kissing ceremony.

Truss then flies back to London to give a speech and appoint a cabinet outside Downing Street.

“I campaigned as a conservative and I will rule as a conservative. Friends, we have to show that we will perform in the next two years,” she said.

On Wednesday she will have a personal question time for the prime minister in the House of Commons for the first time with the leader of the opposition Labor party, Keir Starmer.

lo/rs (TBEN, TBEN, Reuters)