Liz Truss to replace Boris Johnson as British prime minister
Liz Truss will become the new British prime minister after she defeated former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in a leadership contest for the Conservative Party.
Her win will bring an end to Boris Johnson’s scandal-plagued premiership.
WHO IS LIZ TRUSS? BRITISH PRIME MINISTER HOPEFUL VOWING TO BUILD POST-BREXIT ECONOMY.
Truss, who emerged as the front-runner in the race after narrowly securing the second slot nominated by the Conservative members of Parliament in July, will step into the new role Tuesday. She secured the new position with 57% of the vote, compared to Sunak’s 43%.
In her victory speech, Truss thanked Sunak and honored Johnson’s achievements as prime minister, including his accomplishments during the pandemic and aid in combating Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
“Boris: You got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn, you rolled out the vaccine, and you stood up to Vladimir Putin. You are admired from Kyiv to Carlisle,” Truss said. “I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people. I campaigned as a Conservative, and I will govern as a Conservative.”
The new leader has ties with the United States that date back to the 1990s, when she oversaw a ship refurbishment project in Norfolk, Virginia, during her time as an economist at Shell. More recently, Truss served as Johnson’s foreign secretary, the equivalent of the U.S.’s secretary of state. Through her role, she has deepened relations with Antony Blinken, whom she worked with closely in recent months to introduce sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
“I want us all to work together to resolve our differences and to be focused on the threats that we face,” Truss said in a speech at the Atlantic Council. “Our ultimate aim, working with all our allies, is to make the world safe for freedom and democracy.”
A common ground between the United Kingdom and the U.S. has been its heavy sanctions against Russia. The U.K. under Johnson’s leadership has been one of Ukraine’s greatest allies. Truss has additionally been a strong advocate and ally for the U.S. when it comes to confronting China. Despite her work with Blinken, Truss will be expected to strengthen her ties with President Joe Biden and his administration in order to maintain the solid relationship with the U.S., according to Politico.
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Truss was elected as the Conservative member of Parliament for southwestern Norfolk in 2010. In 2019, she was elected as minister for women and equalities, and in 2021, she was chosen as foreign secretary. During her election campaign, Truss billed economy, security, and the environment as “major challenges” that she would tackle.
Johnson and the new prime minister are now expected to fly to Scotland Tuesday for the exchange of power. In an unprecedented break from tradition, the queen is expected to accept Johnson’s resignation from her palace in Balmoral, where she will then ask Truss to form a new government. Johnson resigned as the Conservative Party leader last month after a tumultuous career as the prime minister, which included breaking COVID-19 protocols during lockdown and concluded in a mass exodus of his staff.