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Liz Truss resigns as UK PM, admits she ‘cannot deliver’

Murtaza Ali Shah
Friday, Oct 21, 2022

LONDON: Liz Truss announced her resignation as the British prime minister on Thursday, accepting she “cannot deliver her mandate”. She became the shortest-serving political leader in the UK’s history as she stayed in the prime minister’s office only for about six weeks.

The PM stepped down on her 45th day in charge after a disastrous premiership during which a mini-budget she had sanctioned opened a £70 billion ($78.8bn) black hole in the public finances and triggered a run on the pound.

A little more than 24 hours after insisting she was “a fighter, not a quitter” in the House of Commons, Ms Truss stood at a lectern in Downing Street and said she had informed the king she was resigning.

The prime minister said a short leadership contest “will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security”. “I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer demanded an immediate election so that the nation can have “a chance at a fresh start”. “The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern,” he said.

“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. In the last few years, the Tories have set record-high taxation, trashed our institutions and created a cost-of-living crisis.”

Ms Truss had summoned Sir Graham to Downing Street for a hastily arranged meeting on Thursday morning, with sources saying she was “taking the temperature” of the Tory party. What Sir Graham told her was unclear, but she was left realising that her time was up. “The statement was the result” of their conversation, a source confirmed.

While Sir Graham was in Downing Street for more than an hour, Therese Coffey, the deputy prime minister, and Jake Berry, the chairman of the Conservative Party, arrived. Dominic Grieve, a former attorney general, said the situation had become untenable.

“It is anarchy and the government will be paralysed and incapable of operation and at that point, bluntly, they owe a duty to the public to hand over to somebody who can govern,” he said.