British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced Thursday that she would resign after a scant 45-day tenure that included a disastrous budget roll-out, a plunging pound and numerous policy U-turns. The turmoil culminated Wednesday evening in chaotic scenes in Parliament that saw several Conservative ministers rebel against the government and publicly and loudly voice their anger at their own leadership.
Truss, who became a much-memed and frequent laughing stock of the British tabloids, said she will remain in power until a new prime minister could be selected, which she said would be in the next week. She will likely be the shortest-serving premier in UK history.
The chaos has happened against the backdrop of a critical and worsening cost of living crisis that has many in the UK worried about staying warm and fed this winter.
Truss’s tumultuous time in office has also left in shambles the Conservative Party – already on tenterhooks after the resignation of scandal-plagued Boris Johnson late this summer. Recent polling shows the opposition Labor Party up 36 points against the Tories, the largest lead of any party in more than two decades and a stunning swing after Conservatives won the 2019 general election in a landslide.
In a speech outside of Downing Street, Truss acknowledged that, “Given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”
Sir Keir Starmer, Labor leader, said in response to the news that “The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern.”
“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos,” he said. Starmer called for a general election, which can only be triggered at this point by the ruling party.