Johnson's successor: Liz Truss becomes the new British Prime Minister

Status: 05.09.2022 4:40 pm

Johnson’s successor is settled: Liz Truss becomes the new British Prime Minister. The foreign minister won an internal party vote against former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. Many problems await Truss.

Former Secretary of State Liz Truss will succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Conservative Party elected the 47-year-old as its new leader and thus also to be the next head of government.

Truss received more than 81,000 votes in the vote. She won against former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, who received about 60,000 votes, as announced by the Chairman of the Committee of the Parliamentary Group Responsible, Graham Brady, in London.

Truss hopes to win parliamentary elections

After winning the election, Truss thanked outgoing Prime Minister Johnson. Truss said he did Brexit, fend off Labor, ensured the rapid introduction of a coronavirus vaccine and opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She was confident that her party’s goals would be supported by a majority of Britons. According to her, the Conservative Party will win the general election scheduled for 2024. “We will surrender, we will surrender, we will surrender,” Truss said. Opinion polls currently indicate that the opposition Labor Party is clearly ahead.

From Brexit discounter to Brexit fan

Custom gear for the right wing of the party. Once a staunch opponent of Brexit, she has always emphasized the benefits of leaving the EU. On the inner-party election campaign, she was particularly convinced of her plan to cut taxes immediately despite massively high inflation.

It also scores with the party base – which is much older, male and wealthier than the average British population – with a frontline towards the EU and populist statements about refugees, leftists, environmental activists and social minorities.

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The EU’s relations with Great Britain have never been easier

Like Johnson, Truss appears to be considering a unilateral withdrawal from the Northern Ireland Protocol. It is one of the most controversial points in relations with the European Union. In protocol, London agreed to controls on goods between Great Britain and the British provinces, but repeatedly took action against them.

However, the EU Commission is now hoping for a “new start” with Great Britain. “Anything that strengthens our relationship with the UK is most welcome,” said Eric Mammer, a spokesman for the commission in Brussels. Mammer stressed that the EU still expected London to “fully implement” the Brexit agreements and the Northern Ireland protocol.

Truss announces measures against the energy crisis

Rising energy prices are the biggest challenge for the appointed head of government. Truss announced quick measures to reduce costs. “I will respond to the energy crisis by addressing people’s energy bills, but also by addressing long-term energy supply issues,” Truss said.

Truss and Snack have already come under fire in recent weeks for refusing to propose solutions to the energy crisis before the party’s internal selection process ends. The state-imposed cap on energy prices in Britain has been significantly raised recently. From October it will be £3,549 (more than €4,200) a year for an average family. According to forecasts, it will continue to rise.

It is feared that millions of households in the UK will struggle to pay their electricity and gas bills this winter. In addition, the Bank of England expects inflation to reach 13.3% in October – the highest level in 42 years – and has warned of the risk of a prolonged recession.

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The opposition seizes Truss

Opposition politicians attacked Truss immediately after her election: Someone had heard more from her about cutting corporate taxes than about exempting private households, said opposition leader Keir Starmer of the Labor Party. “It shows that she is not only aloof, but that she is also not on the side of the workers.” The Social Democrat demanded that Truss deal with the crisis of the high cost of living, a faltering health system, and crime.

Even the head of the British Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, has not escaped his criticism. More can be expected from Liz Truss on the crises and chaos that Boris Johnson has already brought on, Davey wrote on Twitter. It’s time to call new elections.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s first reaction was somewhat more positive. She wrote, “Congratulations to Liz Truss. Our political differences are big, but I will try to have a good working relationship with her (…)”.

Appointed by the Queen on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II will formally appoint Truss as prime minister. This makes her the third woman to lead the British government after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

Also on Tuesday, Johnson will address the public for the last time as prime minister before the Queen removes him from office. The 58-year-old is leaving after several scandals under pressure from his government and his parliamentary group.

On Twitter, Johnson called on his party to rally behind Truss. It has the right plan to deal with the energy crisis, inflation and party unification. “Now is the time for all governors to support it 100 percent.”

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Schulz congratulates Truss

Chancellor Olaf Schultz congratulated Truss. “I look forward to our collaboration in these challenging times,” Schulz wrote on Twitter. “The UK and Germany will continue to work closely together – as allies and friends.”

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