Liz Truss to become Britain’s next Prime Minister after winning Tory leadership race
Liz Truss will be crowned as the UK’s new Prime Minister tomorrow, after winning the Conservative party leadership contest.
Truss today beat out rival Rishi Sunak at the end of the two-month contest and will be appointed as Prime Minister by the Queen tomorrow in Balmoral.
Truss won just over 57 per cent of the vote in a much closer result than the polls had predicted.
Truss said “I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative” and promised that “we will deliver, we will deliver and we will deliver” in a short acceptance speech.
“My friends, we need to show that we will deliver over the next two years. I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy,” she said.
“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.”
Sunak urged his party to £now unite behind the new PM, Liz Truss, as she steers the country through difficult times”.
It was widely expected Truss would win after consistently leading Sunak in polling of Tory members by 30+ points over the past month.
It is expected that Kwasi Kwarteng will be chancellor, Suella Braverman will be home secretary and James Cleverly will be foreign secretary when her cabinet is announced tomorrow.
Therese Coffey, Ben Wallace and Kemi Badenoch are also set for major roles in the new government.
Truss tried to quell fears in her speech that she will pack her government solely with loyalists, saying that “I will make sure that we use all the fantastic talents of the Conservative party”.
Truss will announce her plan this week to support households facing a near doubling of energy bills this autumn, with speculation rife that she could freeze energy prices at their current levels.
One campaign insider told The Telegraph last night that they were “confident there will be a mechanism introduced that freezes bills”.
It has been predicted that Truss’ cost of living plan, and her swathe of tax cuts, will cost around £100bn.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan congratulated Truss in a piece for City A.M., while adding that he was committed “putting party politics aside and working constructively with the new Prime Minister in the best interests of London and the whole country”.
“One of my biggest hopes is that Liz Truss will put a stop to the divisive, anti-London approach that has been pursued by her recent predecessors,” he said.
“What we desperately need now is a Government that is laser-focused on the economy, on investing in our public services and on supporting households through this difficult period, rather than one that is intent on stoking crude culture wars or playing our cities, towns and regions off against each other for political gain.”
Kwarteng wrote in the Financial Times today that a Truss government will be “fiscally responsible”, despite her stated willingness to increase the UK’s debt pile.
“Given the severity of the crisis we face, there will need to be some fiscal loosening to help people through the winter. That is absolutely the right thing to do in these exceptionally difficult times,” he said.
“The UK’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product is lower than any other G7 country except Germany, so we do not need excessive fiscal tightening.
“We also remain fully committed to the independence of the Bank of England and the important job they have in the months ahead to bring down inflation.”
Tony Danker, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: “This is an extraordinarily difficult time to be leading the country, and she has businesses’ full support in meeting shared challenges together, head on.
“Most immediately, support for struggling households and firms in jeopardy is top of the in-tray. This may not be the pandemic, but the exceptional circumstances we now face mean government must play a central role in supporting our economy.”