Her replacement is expected to be unveiled in a week. Former chancellor Rishi Sunak is thought to be a key contender as is Penny Mordaunt but a dark horse may be the possibility of a return of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Embattled UK Prime Minister Lizz Truss has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party opening the way to Britain’s fifth prime minister in seven years being appointed in the next week or so.
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has stepped down from her position after only 45 days on the job making her tenure the shortest in British history.
On Thursday, in a short message outside Downing Street, she said that recent events including a disastrous effort to implement radical tax-cutting policies and unprecedented turmoil in the Conservative Party have left her in an untenable position.
Hostile reaction on the markets to her overreaching package of tax cuts and reforms undid Truss
Negative reaction in already jittery financial markets over the world economy as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war to her programme spearheaded by her political ally and Chancellor Kwasi Karteng, led to her removing him from office last week and appointing veteran minister Jeremy Hunt to the role, tasked with reversing course.
‘I recognise that given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,’ she said in a statement.
The 47-year-old said she would remain in office until her successor is chosen. This is expected to happen within a week.
Appointed in the last act of Queen Elizabeth II
Truss was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in her last official act as monarch and has seen her Conservative Party fall hopelessly behind the Labour Party in opinion polls by as much as 30 points.
Backbenchers within the ruling party quickly formed a conclusion this week that she could not possibly win the next General Election because of her wooden personal style and the reputational loss suffered by her opening days in office.
Her successor, who will emerge from a parliamentary party contest followed by an online vote of party members on the last two candidates, will be the fifth Prime Minister in just seven years.
Calls for a General Election, Truss will be remembered as the shortest-lived and most disastrous PM in history because of her abject failure to lead
Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, has called for an immediate General Election but this is unlikely to happen.
On Wednesday, during Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Parliament Ms Truss vowed not to resign, telling jeering and laughing MPs that she was a ‘fighter, not a quitter’ in response to the opposition leader in what will now be seen as famous last words cementing her reputation as a disastrous prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party.
Ms Truss visited Bangkok while Foreign Secretary in November 2021 to brief her Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai when the United Kingdom along with the United States and Australia unveiled the AUKUS defence pact in the Pacific against China.
Possibility of a return of Johnson
Among the favourites to replace her will be the former front-runner in the last leadership race at the parliamentary level and ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak although Penny Mordaunt is also likely to feature prominently.
There is also growing talk of a return of ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, seen as a more capable election winner and also because he had previously secured a mandate from the public in 2019.