On Tuesday, September 6, Liz Truss was officially installed as the United Kingdom’s new prime minister. She follows in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May to become the third female prime minister in British history after winning the majority of Conservative Party votes to replace Boris Johnson.
Johnson announced his resignation in July 2022 amidst a flurry of scandals and criticism. Truss’s appointment fills the gap in leadership after the UK had to endure labor strikes, a declining healthcare service, and the worst economic crisis in decades, with the cost-of-living spiraling out of control.
Johnson met with Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral Castle on Tuesday to finalize his departure formally. Her Majesty then received Truss, a formal meeting that is the prelude to a new PM’s appointment. The location was out of the norm, as it is customary for the reigning monarch to hold the audience at Buckingham Place. For the first time in her seven-decade reign, the Queen did not travel to London to oversee this power transfer. She cited her decision as an abundance of caution due to mobility issues.
Truss is expected to appoint campaign allies such as Kwasi Kwarteng and Suella Braverman to her cabinet. As it is considered unacceptable for the new head of government not to outline their policies within the first 48 hours of installation, this announcement is expected sooner rather than later.
Truss ran a campaign focused on tax cuts and a reduction in government spending. One of her biggest tasks now is to stabilize the soaring energy costs created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, she has pledged to continue the UK’s support of Ukraine.
Speaking on the steps of the prime minister’s residence at Downing Street, Liz Truss acknowledged the nation’s current struggles as she stated, “We should not be daunted by the challenges we face. As strong as the storm may be, I know that the British people are stronger. Our country was built by people who get things done…I am confident that together we can ride out the storm.”
The true measure of this strength will be gauged this winter as countless Britons might have to choose between eating versus warming their homes due to the crushing energy crisis.