Liz Truss will become UK’s next prime minister after beating Rishi Sunak in race to succeed Boris Johnson | Politics News

Liz Truss will become the next prime minister after defeating Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

Ms Truss, who was the favourite to win, will succeed Boris Johnson on Tuesday and become the nation’s third female leader.

The foreign secretary used her victory speech to indicate she would not trigger an early general election, instead pledging to secure “a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024”.

She won by a comfortable margin, but her victory was slimmer than in other recent leadership contests.

Result of the Tory leadership contest

Ms Truss said it is an “honour to be elected” as she thanked her party for organising “one of the longest job interviews in history”.

In a short speech after the result was announced, she issued her thanks to her “friend” Mr Johnson.

“You got Brexit done. You crushed Jeremy Corbyn. You rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin,” she said.

Chairman of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady congratulates Liz Truss, as she is announced as Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, Britain September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Chairman of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady congratulates Liz Truss, as she is announced as the next Prime Minister. Pic: Reuters

Liz Truss arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters, after being announced as Britain's next Prime Minister, in London, Britain September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Phil Noble
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Liz Truss arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters, after being announced as Britain’s next Prime Minister. Pic: Reuters

Mr Johnson, who was forced to resign after a wave of ministers left his government over a series of controversies, will visit the Queen at Balmoral to formally tender his resignation tomorrow.

Reacting to Ms Truss’ victory, he said his successor “has the right plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, unite our party and continue the great work of uniting and levelling up our country”.

Mr Sunak, the former chancellor, has also called for the Conservative Party to unite behind Ms Truss following his loss.

In a tweet he said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for me in this campaign. I’ve said throughout that the Conservatives are one family.

“It’s right we now unite behind the new PM, Liz Truss, as she steers the country through difficult times.”

Liz Truss shakes hands with Chairman of the Conservative Party Andrew Stephenson as she arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters, after being announced as Britain's next Prime Minister, in London, Britain September 5, 2022. REUTERS/John Sibley
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Liz Truss shakes hands with Chairman of the Conservative Party Andrew Stephenson. Pic: Reuters
Liz Truss speaks at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London, after being announced as the new Conservative party leader and next Prime Minister. Picture date: Monday September 5, 2022.
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Liz Truss speaks at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London. Pic: Reuters

New PM announced – Politics Hub

Ms Truss did not enjoy the support of the majority of MPs during the parliamentary stage of the contest, with Mr Sunak coming out on top among fellow Tories.

As well as dealing with a daunting set of social and economic challenges and the ongoing war in Ukraine, Ms Truss will have to reunite a Tory party which has spent weeks indulging in blue-on-blue infighting.

‘I will deliver’

In her victory speech, Ms Truss said it had been a “hard-fought campaign” that showed “the depth and breadth of talent” in the party.

She also reiterated her promise to “deliver a bold plan” to cut taxes and grow the 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.

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Who is Liz Truss?

She said Tory beliefs in freedom, low taxes and personal responsibility “resonate with the British people”.

“During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a conservative and I will govern as a conservative,” she said.

Ms Truss has vowed to outline a plan to deal with the energy crisis within her first week as PM, and though detail has been thin, speculation is mounting it will include a freeze in the energy price cap.

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Liz Truss’s victory speech

Reacting to her victory, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said she “needs to show that she actually understands and can meet the challenges that are there after 12 years of failure of this Tory government”.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, also called on her to “freeze energy bills for people and businesses, deliver more cash support, and increase funding for public services”.

And Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey called for a general election, saying: “Under Liz Truss, we’re set to see more of the same crisis and chaos as under Boris Johnson.”

Read more:
Who is Liz Truss? The prime minister who sees herself as disruptor-in-chief
Who will be in Truss’s top team? Predictions for her cabinet
How will Truss do to ease cost of living crisis?

Mr Sunak and Ms Truss were whittled down to the final two candidates after five rounds of voting by Tory MPs.

The pair went head-to-head over a summer of hustings and live television debates, during which they clashed repeatedly over their plans for the economy.

Party members had from 1 August to 2 September to cast their votes, which were counted over the weekend.

Ms Truss will officially become prime minister tomorrow, when she will travel to Balmoral to meet the Queen, who will invite her to form a government.

She will then return to Downing Street, where she is expected to make her first speech as PM and begin forming her cabinet.

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