Liz Truss resigns stoking fresh political instability
Leeann Nash October 20th 2022 - < 1 minute read
After just 44 days in office, Liz Truss has resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party and therefore as prime minister of the UK. She is the shortest serving PM in British history.
Her resignation follows a month and a half of economic and political turmoil. Since the mini-budget – which she co-authored with then Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng – triggered a market meltdown and a run on the pound, Truss has faced growing pressure from her own MPs.
Eventually Truss was forced to U-turn on almost all the elements of her budget, leaving her authority in tatters and eventually leading to her downfall.
The ruling Conservative Party will now launch another leadership contest to find a new prime minister, with a winner to be selected by MPs within a week.
Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Ben Wallace, Suella Braverman, and even Boris Johnson are being discussed as likely candidates. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said he will not be putting his hat in the ring.
Whoever succeeds Truss will become the third British prime minister this year. They will need to unite a fractured party and rebuild the Tories’ reputation, while also tackling a cost-of-living crisis and growing threats to national security.
UK markets were muted following the resignation. Investors seem unsure what to make of Truss’s departure. On the one hand, her brief tenure brought extraordinary political and financial volatility. On the other, the instability that has plagued Britain over the last two months is only set to continue.
Unsurprisingly, opposition MPs are demanding a General Election, which current polling suggests would lead to a Labour government.
This may be the end of Liz Truss’s premiership, but it is almost certainly not the end of the UK’s political crisis or the pound’s recent volatility.