Kabul: Britain’s former foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has won the ruling Conservative Party’s leadership contest, gaining the parliamentary majority to become the country’s next prime minister and replacing Boris Johnson, who was forced to resign after a series of scandals.
Truss was named the new prime minister by first MPs on Monday, following a grueling eight-week leadership campaign.
The foreign secretary beat her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, by 81,326 votes (%57.4) to 60,399 (%42.6), after a summer-long divisive battle sparked by Johnson’s resignation in July.
Truss will be coming to Down Street facing a myriad of domestic and foreign challenges, chief among them a toxic economic situation recently made worse by soaring food and energy prices.
On the campaign trail, she had promised “immediate action” to help tackle an all-consuming cost of living crisis.
Soaring cost of gas and electricity is widely expected to be the main issue defining her first few months in office. Her team says it has been working on a package to help the struggling households, but details of the program have not been made public yet.
In her victory speech on Monday, Truss promised to “deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy.”
“I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long term issues we have on energy supply,” she said.
The announcement triggers the process of a handover from Johnson, who stepped down in July after months of scandal saw support for his administration drain. Johnson will travel to Scotland to officially tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday.
Truss will follow his former boss to meet the monarch, who will give the new prime minister her blessings to form a new government.
More than half — 52 percent– of British voters believe Truss will be a “poor” or “terrible” prime minister, according to a new YouGov poll.
However, she was the favorite among the estimated 200,000 Tory members charged with selecting Johnson’s successor and the next British prime minister.
Truss will become the Conservatives’ fourth PM since a 2015 election, at a time when the country has been struggling with soaring inflation, labor strife, and crisis in the public healthcare system.