Truss loses trust, steps down in 45 days- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Embattled UK Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday put in her papers after 44 tumultuous days in office, going down in British history as the shortest-serving premier ever. The slide began after last month’s mini-budget got embroiled in controversy as it contained £45 billion of unfunded tax cuts, which triggered uncertainty in the sterling and gilt markets. 

Making a brief statement outside 10, Downing Street, Truss said a new party leader and prime minister would be chosen within a week. That set the clock for the election of her successor, with the names of former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman doing the rounds. The name of Truss’ predecessor Boris Johnson, too, is in circulation. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ruled himself out, which could bolster a Sunak ticket because he was in the latter’s camp before taking over the finance portfolio. 

In the morning, Truss had met Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs that sets the rules for the party leadership vote. He said the successor should be in place by next Friday. The narrowed-down election window of a week necessitates online polling. 

Each candidate will need the support of 100 MPs to enter the fray. But if there is only one candidate in the race, there would be no need for a vote. However, the 1.6 lakh Tory voters have been promised a say in electing the new leader. “Bookmakers are putting Sunak and Mordaunt and Wallace as favourites,’’ said a political observer from London. 

“I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party…. I will remain as PM until a successor has been chosen,” Truss said in her brief speech. Crisis talks with Sir Graham, deputy PM Therese Coffey and Tory chair Jake Berry amid an avalanche of no-trust letters from party MPs gave her the sense that her time was up. A day earlier, there was big Tory confusion over whether a Labour motion in Parliament involved a whip. The issue put to vote was on MPs having a say on the government’s fracking plans to drill for gas. 

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