Liz Truss Resigns Just After 45 days


Simon Dawson

22/09/2022. London, United Kingdom. Official Portrait of Prime Minister Liz Truss in No10 Downing Street. 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Manwela Katas

Liz Truss, the third female prime minister of the United Kingdom, claimed the title of Conservative Party leader of the United Kingdom on September 5th, 2022. However, on October 20th, 2022, she announced her intention to resign, making her the shortest-running leader in British history.

Truss delivered her resignation speech on the steps of Downing Street as she stated, “I recognize though given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.” She discusses her failure to solve issues such as rising energy costs, deteriorating public services, aid to Ukraine, high tax costs, and the National Health Service (NHS) crisis.

Truss mentioned that a leadership election would be held within the upcoming week. However, she will remain as the Prime Minister of the UK until a replacement is elected.

Liz Truss, now 47, was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II after the resignation of the previous Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson. Truss came in as the highest-voted candidate among the members of the Conservative Party, with approximately 57% of the votes in contrast to her competitor, Rishi Sunak, who came reasonably close to earning the title by receiving 42% of the vote.

Truss was born in the city of Oxford in 1975. Her mother, Priscilla Truss, is a nurse, and her father, John Truss, is a math professor at the University of Leeds. Truss’s political beliefs were highly influenced by the strong liberal views of her parents. After graduating from Roundhay College, she furthered her studies in philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University.

While studying at Oxford University, Truss was highly involved in political campaigns, which led her to become the president of the Liberal Democrats Club. During her time taking part in the Liberal Democrats of England, she supported the legalization of cannabis and the abolishment of the royal family; these beliefs are very different  compared to her current political positions.

She transitioned to the Conservative Party in 1996, just two years after her speech at a Liberal Democrat conference to abolish the monarchy. This left many shocked, including her parents. According to Express, Truss’s father, math professor John Truss, was “appalled” by her “conversion to extreme right-wing politics.” In a recent interview by The Time, Truss was asked if her parents would vote for her in a general election, and she stated that, “[She thinks] mum will, I’m not sure about my dad… [Mom] is very proud of me. She still harbors her old views.” BCC News mentions Truss’s reasoning for making the big transition: “She had become a conservative because she had met like-minded people who shared her commitment to personal freedom, the ability to shape your own life and shape your own destiny.”

After graduating from Oxford, she worked as an accountant for Cable & Wireless from 1996 to 2000. While working there, she met her husband, Hugh O’Leary, and they now have two teenage children. Not much information about her family is shared with the public since she prefers to keep them out of the public eye.

Truss’s interesting political history raised a lot of conversation and speculation throughout the community about her ability to make decisions as a leader. Critics mention that, “Many who have observed her over the years question whether she has any sincere beliefs at all, or if she endorses whatever is the most convenient at the time.”

In the 2001 general election, Truss ran as the Conservative candidate in Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, but was defeated by Jon Trickett. She lost once again in the 2005 Calder Valley, West Yorkshire election. Despite her losses, Truss’ political ambitions continued. She became a council member in Greenwich, south-east London, from 2006 to 2008. In 2010, Truss became the South West Norfolk Member of Parliament. Shortly after, she became an education minister in 2012. From 2014 through 2016, Truss acted as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. In 2016, she was sworn into office as Britain’s first female Lord Chancellor (Justice Secretary). However, she was involved in several public conflicts with the judiciary, leading to her demotion to Treasure’s Chief Secretary only about a year after holding the title of Lord Chancellor. In 2019, when Boris Johnson was appointed as prime minister, Truss’s title was changed to international trade secretary. In 2021, she replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary.

Many believed Truss was the Margaret Thatcher they were looking for, while others thought she was too out of touch with the world to contribute to any solutions. Margaret was the UK’s first female and longest-running prime minister from 1975 to 1990. She was famous for being called the “Iron Lady” due to her strong leadership. The people of Britain hoped that Truss would possess some of the same views and skills as Margaret. However, given the recent challenges the UK has faced, it’s clear that Liz Truss was not able to fulfill such a significant role.