Liz Truss, the Prime Minister of Britain, resigned today after 45 days in power, the shortest term for a British Prime Minister. Her economic programme had sent shockwaves through the markets and divided her Conservative Party just six weeks after she was appointed over Rishi Sunak.
“I recognise that 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. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen,” Ms Truss told reporters today.
A leadership election for MPs to select her successor will be “completed within the next week,” she added.
Ms Truss announced her resignation less than 24 hours after she said, “I am a fighter and not a quitter”, in response to MPs who criticised her. “I am someone who is prepared to front up. I’m prepared to take the tough decisions,” she said yesterday.
Ms Truss’ chaotic premiership was mortally wounded despite having barely begun. Discounting 10 days of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II, Ms Truss had only a week before her political programme imploded, leading to the sacking of her Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng.
Mr Kwarteng, who was seen as like-minded with Ms Truss, had announced a “mini-budget” which details the price of an energy scheme worth $67 billion over the next six months. But he did not have measures to raise funds. Instead, he announces massive new borrowing to pay for sweeping tax cuts – including for top-earners – along with scrapping a cap on bankers’ bonuses.
The announcement draws immediate political fire for being unfair, and the pound plummets towards parity against the dollar.
Mr Kwarteng and Mr Truss are then forced into a humiliating U-turn, scrapping the planned cut in the top rate of income tax.