Liz Truss has resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after a tumultuous tenure characterised by a stunning loss of support after economic changes she tried to push through generated significant backlash.
Her tenure lasted just 45 days, making it the shortest of all the 56 UK prime ministers since 1721.
In an announcement in front of Number 10, Downing Street, Ms Truss said that she came into office “at a time of great economic and international instability”.
She said that her election as leader of the Conservative Party had given her a mandate to turn around the period of low economic growth facing the UK.
She pointed to a cap on energy bills and a reversal to a prior increase in national insurance as successes, as well as “setting out a vision for a low tax high growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit”.
However, she continued: “I recognise though given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative party.”
Her resignation kicks off a week-long process to find her replacement from within the Conservative party, though Labour and the Liberal Democrats are demanding that a general election takes place to avoid having another Prime Minister who has not been elected by popular vote.
The widespread reforms she intended to push through in a ‘mini-budget’, along with Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, received widespread condemnation, including, remarkably, from outside UK borders, including from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and US President Joe Biden.
The changes included a lowering of the top rate of income tax, setting up new low-tax and low-regulation zones, scrapping a cap on bankers’ bonuses, among others.
Mr Kwarteng was forced to resign just six days ago, and was replaced by Jeremy Hunt, a key supporter of Ms Truss’s rival in the Conservative leadership race, Rishi Sunak, in a move widely seen as a major embarrassment for the Prime Minister.
Almost every proposal of the ‘mini-budget’ has since been reversed, but not before scaring markets and forcing the intervention of the Bank of England to support UK treasury bonds, also known as gilts, and pension funds.
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