Liz Truss defeats Rishi Sunak in the UK’s election for prime minister
In a close election, Liz Truss defeated Rishi Sunak to become the 56th prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, putting her in position to be confirmed as prime minister.
After a leadership election on Monday in London, in which only 180,000 members of the Conservative Party who pay their annual membership fees were eligible to vote, the results were revealed. By promising to increase defence spending and lower taxes but remaining silent on how she would deal with the cost-of-living crisis, Truss defeated Rishi Sunak, the government’s former Treasury head.
The Associated Press reported that Truss won with 81,326 votes against Sunak’s 60,399.
Consumers, workers, and businesses demanded government action to minimise the impact of rising food and energy prices, but the country was left with a power vacuum after a two-month leadership contest.
Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation on July 7, he has been unable to make any significant policy decisions.
A number of cabinet ministers and lower-level officials resigned in July over Johnson’s handling of charges of sexual misconduct by a senior member of his administration, culminating in a sequence of ethics scandals that ultimately led to Johnson’s resignation.
The parliamentary system of administration in Britain permitted the conservative party to choose its own leader and prime minister without going to the general public. It will be necessary to have a fresh general election in December of 2024.
Truss reportedly won with 57% of the vote, according to the Times of London, a slightly smaller margin than what surveys had predicted. The participation rate was 82.6%.
After her victory, she praised Johnson, calling him “my friend” adding, “You were admired from Kyiv to Carlisle.”
Truss, according to the Times, also promised that the conservative cause will be “We will deliver a great victory for the conservatives in 2024,” in the year 2024.
On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II will officially install Truss as the prime minister of Britain.