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Monday, April 22, 2024

Who Is Liz Truss, the next UK Prime Minister?

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The current foreign secretary grew up in the north of England to left-wing parents but has touted herself as the heir to Margaret Thatcher

By Max Colchester
Wall Street Journal

Liz Truss, the UK’s foreign secretary, is to become Britain’s next prime minister and replace ousted leader Boris Johnson after a contest against former treasury chief, Rishi Sunak. She will be the third woman to lead the UK government. Mr Johnson, in power since 2019, said he would resign in early July following a revolt by his own party after a series of scandals. Here’s a look at his successor.

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Who is Liz Truss?
The 47-year old grew up in Scotland and the north of England to left-wing parents, the start of a political journey that would see her shift from left to right.
At the University of Oxford she joined the Liberal Democrats and was filmed demanding the abolition of the monarchy. She joined the Conservative Party in 1996 and went to work for oil company Shell PLC.
After entering Parliament in 2010 as a lawmaker in the ruling Conservative Party she was swiftly promoted up the ranks to a series of ministerial jobs, including as Boris Johnson’s foreign secretary.
She remained loyal to Mr Johnson amid a revolt by fellow party lawmakers, and faced off against Mr Johnson’s former chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in a weekslong contest for the party leadership.
Ms Truss is a libertarian who backs a small state and low taxes.

When will the next UK prime minister start their term?
Queen Elizabeth II will appoint Ms Truss as prime minister on September 6. Breaking with tradition, the 96-year-old monarch will appoint Ms Truss from her Balmoral residence in Scotland rather than at Buckingham Palace. The queen has previously appointed all of her 14 previous prime ministers in London.

Which political party does Liz Truss belong to?
Ms Truss belongs to the Conservative Party, which has been in power in the UK since 2010. The next general election in the UK is to be held no later than January 25, 2025.
Ms Truss has long spoken of her admiration for former Conservative Party leader, Margaret Thatcher, who led the country out of stagflation during the 1980s by cutting taxes and regulation.

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Which previous positions has Liz Truss held?
Ms Truss has been in the government since 2014 and has held numerous roles. She was previously secretary of state for justice and then secretary of state for international trade. In 2021, she was appointed as foreign secretary, becoming the second woman to hold the position in the UK.
She voted against the UK leaving the European Union during a 2016 referendum. She has since said that was a mistake and has backed a sharp break with the country’s largest trading partner.

Why did Boris Johnson resign?
Mr Johnson resigned following a large-scale revolt in his party. Many felt they could no longer trust him following a series of scandals, most prominent of which was his attendance at a number of social gatherings during Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, some of which were investigated by the police.

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