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BRITISH LEADERSHIP CRISIS

Liz Truss resigns, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history

Liz Truss resigns, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history
Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her resignation at Downing Street on Thursday. (Photo: Rob Pinney / Getty Images)

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Liz Truss said on Thursday she would resign as prime minister, brought down by her economic programme that sent shockwaves through the markets and divided her Conservative Party just six weeks after she was appointed.

leadership election will be completed within the next week to replace Truss, who is the shortest-serving prime minister in Britain’s history (44 days). George Canning previously held the record, serving 119 days in 1827, when he died.

Speaking outside the door of her Number 10 Downing Street office and residence, Truss accepted that she could not deliver the promises she made when she was running for Conservative leader, having lost the faith of her party.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Lessons for South Africa from the humiliation of UK’s Liz Truss

“I recognise though, 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.

“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week. This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.”


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“I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you.”

Conservative legislators have increasingly called on Truss to step down after she was forced to junk most of her economic programme which when delivered on Sept. 23 sent the pound and government bond markets tumbling.

She drafted in former health minister Jeremy Hunt as her new finance minister to try to reset her administration, but on Wednesday her lawmakers turned on each other and another senior minister resigned, leaving Truss’s authority in tatters.

Conservative legislators say her most likely successors are either her leadership rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, or Penny Mordaunt, who came third in the race to become the next prime minister just six weeks ago. DM/Reuters

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Kate Holton)

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Robert K says:

    In the Conservative Party the PM’s biggest enemies are not the Leader of the Opposition in front of them, but the Tories behind and next to them.

  • Alan Jeffrey says:

    Rishi Sunak must be feeling pretty smug.
    My bet is that Boris Johnson must be feeling even smugger!!(more smug?)

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    Dear Zikiswe Pikoli, Sorry about this. But at least the Asian lady stands a chance. I truly hope she gets the job. Much Like Obama got the job in his country of radicals.

  • Ryckard Blake says:

    Did Boris give her a tele-call of condolence?

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    The most important thing about the British democracy is accountability and that is because its MPs are directly elected by the electorate and not appointed by the leadership they are supposed to have oversight of. It is for this reason in June 2006 in Brazzaville when the Ugandan Ambassador asked our foreign minister then, Nkosazana Dlamini – Zuma who elected her and told her that she must not go around saying the South African democracy is the best because its MPs and MInisters do not have to face the electorate like in their countries. It was a matter that left one with deep reflection on the flawed Constitutional democracy we mouth as the best. When Zukiswa Pikoli attacked the Queen, I reflected that inspite of the Queen, Britain has a better democratic system than we do and its MPs do real oversight not overlooking and are not beholden to party leaders. The resignation of Liz Truss is democracy in action as well as accountability that is non – existent in our political system. The first past the post system has its flaws but remains far better than what we have in this country. The skokiaan amendments that have been passed will not pass constitutional muster but we ought to reflect on whether the judgement of Justice Madlala was not flawed and irresponsible.

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