Liz Truss announced her resignation as British Prime Minister on Thursday, six weeks into the post, after an economic program roiled financial markets, raised living expenses for citizens, and enraged much of her own party.
By Oct. 28, the Conservative Party will choose a new leader. With a sizable majority in parliament, the Conservatives won’t have to schedule a general election for another two years.
Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, is most likely to face Penny Mordaunt in that race, although former premier Boris Johnson, who was removed from office in July when his ministers all quit at once, might also run again.
Speaking outside the door of her Number 10 Downing Street office, Truss accepted that she had lost the faith of her party and said she would step down next week, becoming the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.
“I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” said Truss, who was supported only by her husband with her aides and loyal ministers noticeably absent.
After being chosen in September to head the Conservative Party by its members—not by the general public—and with backing from just about a third of the party’s lawmakers, Truss became Britain’s fourth prime minister in six years.
Deregulation, tax cuts funded by borrowing, and a strong turn to the right on social and cultural issues were among her campaign pledges.
She was appointed on September 6, and last week, after their plans for significant unfunded tax cuts destroyed the pound and British bonds, she was obliged to sack her finance minister and closest political friend, Kwasi Kwarteng, and abandon nearly the entirety of her economic program. Her and the Conservative Party’s poll ratings plummeted.
She lost the second of the four most senior ministers in the government on Wednesday, was mocked when she attempted to defend her record in front of parliament, and witnessed her lawmakers openly argue over policy, all of which added to the chaos in Westminster.
Jeremy Hunt, the country’s new finance minister, is now scrambling to find tens of billions of pounds in expenditure reductions in an effort to reassure investors and repair Britain’s fiscal reputation.
Millions of Britons are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis as a result of the economy’s impending recession and the 40-year high inflation rate.
On October 31, Hunt is scheduled to deliver a new budget. Hunt has ruled himself out of the leadership race.