UK Inflation Accelerates To 41-Year Peak

File photo of Britain’s newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gestures as he delivers a speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London, on October 25, 2022. – Rishi Sunak was Tuesday appointed as Britain’s third prime minister this year, after outgoing leader Liz Truss submitted her resignation to King Charles III. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

British inflation has jumped to a 41-year high on soaring energy and food bills in a worsening cost-of-living crisis, data showed Wednesday on the eve of a key budget.

The Consumer Prices Index hit 11.1 percent in October, reaching the highest level since 1981, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That compared with 10.1 percent in September, which matched the level in July and had already been the highest in 40 years.

Domestic fuel bills rocketed again despite the UK government’s energy price freeze as the market faced more fallout from key producer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The October figure beat market expectations of 10.7 percent and was higher than the Bank of England’s forecast peak.

“Rising gas and electricity prices drove headline inflation to its highest level for over 40 years, despite the Energy Price Guarantee,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.

Over the last year, gas prices have leapt by 130 percent and electricity prices by 66 percent, according to the ONS.

Runaway inflation comes despite state energy support, which sought to limit annual energy bills at an average of £2,500 per year.

READ ALSO: Trump Declares 2024 Presidential Bid, Says Biden Won’t Get Second Term

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine for spiking prices, as well as the easing of pandemic curbs.

– ‘Tough’ decisions –

Hunt is expected Thursday to hike taxes and slash spending, despite the cost-of-living squeeze, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attempts to fix economic chaos wrought by predecessor Liz Truss.

“The aftershock of Covid and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is driving up inflation in the UK and around the world,” Hunt said Wednesday.

“This… is eating into pay cheques, household budgets and savings, while thwarting any chance of long-term economic growth.”

The Ukraine conflict has also sent inflation soaring to the highest level in decades worldwide, sparking economic turmoil.

That has forced major central banks to raise interest rates, risking the prospect of recession as higher borrowing costs hurt businesses and consumers.

The Bank of England this month sprang its biggest rate hike since 1989 to combat sky-high inflation — and warned the UK economy may experience a record-long recession until mid-2024.

The BoE lifted borrowing costs by 0.75 percentage points to 3.0 percent — the highest since the 2008 global financial crisis — to cool UK inflation that it saw peaking at almost 11 percent.

Hunt added that “tough” decisions would be needed in Thursday’s budget to help the BoE meet its 2.0-percent inflation target.

“We cannot have long-term, sustainable growth with high inflation,” he said.

The UK has meanwhile been blighted by strikes this year, as workers protest over wages that have failed to keep pace with surging inflation.

The retail prices index — an inflation measure which includes mortgage interest payments and is used by trade unions and employers when negotiating wage increases — rocketed to 14.2 percent in October from 12.6 percent in September, data showed Wednesday.

AFP

UK PM In Fresh Controversy Over Cabinet Picks

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on October 26, 2022, for the House of Commons to take part in his first Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). – Rishi Sunak will today face off against opposition lawmakers for the first time as British prime minister, in a likely raucous parliamentary session following weeks of political turmoil. (Photo by Niklas HALLE’N / AFP)

 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced new questions Saturday over his choice of senior officials after his number two was accused of behaving aggressively towards staff.

The controversy over Dominic Raab, who is deputy prime minister and justice secretary, came after fellow Sunak ally Gavin Williamson was forced out of the new government because of alleged bullying.

Raab, Sunak’s most vocal supporter in the summer Conservative leadership race against Liz Truss, was brought back into the cabinet when Truss was forced out as prime minister after just six weeks.

Sunak restored him to his previous role of justice secretary, where he had presided over a “culture of fear”, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Some 15 senior civil servants at the ministry were offered a “route out” to different government jobs if they felt unable to serve under Raab because of his past behaviour, it said.

The Sun newspaper meanwhile reported that Raab had once hurled tomatoes from a salad across a room in a fit of anger during a meeting — which a spokesman for the minister said was “nonsense”.

More generally, the spokesman said: “Dominic has high standards, works hard, and expects a lot from his team as well as himself.

“He has worked well with officials to drive the government’s agenda across Whitehall in multiple government departments and always acts with the utmost professionalism.”

Sunak was already under fire for reappointing Williamson to a ministerial role despite being told he was under investigation for allegedly bullying another senior Conservative.

The prime minister also faced criticism for reinstating Suella Braverman as interior minister just six days after she was forced to quit the Truss cabinet over a security breach.

The opposition Labour party pointed to those controversies as it termed the latest accusations “deeply troubling”, demanding Sunak launch an inquiry.

“With each new scandal and grubby deal, it becomes more obvious that he is a weak leader who puts party management before the national interest,” Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said.

There was no immediate comment from Sunak, who is preparing next week to unveil an emergency economic package after a tax-slashing budget by Truss sparked a financial crisis.

AFP

UK’s New PM Sunak Vows To Fix Truss ‘Mistakes’

Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss walks away from the podium after delivering her final speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London, before heading to Buckingham Palace to give her resignation, on October 25, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

 

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday vowed to fix the errors made by his predecessor Liz Truss while warning of “difficult” decisions ahead.

Speaking on the steps of Downing Street after being appointed premier by King Charles III, Sunak spoke of Truss’s “noble” aims but said some “mistakes” had been made.

“Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis, the aftermath of Covid still lingers, Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilised energy markets and supply chains the world over,” he said.

 

Britain’s newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak waves as he poses outside to door to 10 Downing Street in central London, on October 25, 2022, after delivering his first speech as prime minister. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

He said however he wanted to “pay tribute” to Truss whose tenure as leader lasted just seven weeks.

Her tax-slashing budget sparked economic and political turmoil.

“She was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country. It is a noble aim and I admired her restlessness to create change but some mistakes were made, not born of ill will or bad intentions, but mistakes nonetheless,” he said.

“And I have been elected as leader of my party — your prime minister — in part to fix them, and that work begins immediately,” he added.

Sunak To Be Confirmed UK’s PM On Tuesday – Downing Street

Rishi Sunak, Britain’s former chancellor of the exchequer and candidate to become the next prime minister, delivers a speech at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on July 12, 2022. – The new UK prime minister to replace the outgoing Boris Johnson will be announced on September 5, the ruling Conservative party said, with 11 hopefuls currently vying for the job. (Photo by Niklas HALLE’N / AFP)

 

Rishi Sunak will be appointed Britain’s third prime minister this year on Tuesday after outgoing leader Liz Truss submits her resignation to King Charles III, Downing Street said.

Truss will hold a final cabinet meeting before delivering a statement outside Number 10 around 10:15 am (0915 GMT). Sunak will then be appointed by the king and make his own televised remarks around 11:35 am (1035 GMT).

Sunak also vowed Monday to bring “stability and unity” at a time of economic crisis, after he was named the beleaguered Conservatives’ new leader.

Sunak, 42, a Hindu, will be the UK’s first prime minister of colour following the implosion of Liz Truss’s premiership after just 44 days.

Truss will hold a final cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning before submitting her resignation to King Charles III, who will then appoint Sunak, Downing Street said.

The new leader will make his first remarks to the nation from outside Number 10 around 11:35 am (1035 GMT).

Penny Mordaunt, the last rival left in the party’s leadership race after Boris Johnson dramatically pulled out, failed to secure the necessary 100 nominations from her fellow MPs.

“Rishi Sunak is therefore elected as leader of the Conservative party,” senior backbencher Graham Brady said, as Mordaunt and Truss pledged their full support for Sunak.

However, some five hours after Brady’s announcement, there was still no word from Johnson — even as Sunak urged his warring party to “unite or die”, according to Tory MPs present in a closed-doors meeting.

Addressing the public for the first time, Sunak said: “The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge.

“We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together,” he said, rebuffing calls from opposition parties for an early general election.

Just seven weeks after he lost out to Truss following Johnson’s own removal from office, Sunak pulled off a stunning reversal in fortunes, and is vowing to do the same for Britain on a platform of fiscal responsibility.

But 62 percent of voters want a national election before the end of the year, pollster Ipsos said.

Another poll by YouGov said Labour leader Keir Starmer was favoured as the “best prime minister” in parliamentary 389 constituencies — while Sunak was favoured in 127.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon, whose nationalist government in Edinburgh wants to hold an independence referendum next year, was among the first to congratulate Sunak.

“I wish him well… notwithstanding our political differences,” she said.

“That he becomes the first British Asian — indeed the first from any minority ethnic background — to become PM is a genuinely significant moment.”

– Abrupt end to contest –

The contest, triggered by Truss’s resignation on Thursday, had required candidates to secure the support of at least 100 Conservative MPs by 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) on Monday.

Only Sunak made the threshold, Brady announced.

Sunak, a wealthy descendant of immigrants from India and East Africa, had crossed that threshold by Friday night, and amassed nearly 200 public nominations — more than half the parliamentary Tory party.

Johnson’s withdrawal from the race — before he had even formally announced his candidacy — left cabinet member Mordaunt the only other declared contender.

However she failed to garner the necessary support, putting an abrupt end to the contest.

Sunak’s victory came on the day Hindus worldwide mark the start of the five-day festival of Diwali — a celebration of the victory of good over evil.

When he was chancellor of the exchequer, in November 2020, Sunak marked the occasion by lighting oil lamps on the front step of the chancellor’s official residence at 11 Downing Street.

The Tories were forced into their second leadership contest since the summer due to Truss’s resignation following a disastrous market response to her tax-slashing budget plans.

Johnson’s attempt to make an immediate return to Downing Street had raised the prospect of months of disarray and disunity within the ruling Conservatives.

Critical backbench Tory MPs warned there could have been a wave of resignations under Johnson’s renewed leadership, which might have led to a general election. One is not due for at least two years.

– ‘Not the right time’ –

Johnson cut short a Caribbean holiday to return to Britain on Saturday.

But in a sign of his diminished political standing, he swiftly conceded late Sunday, admitting “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament”.

“I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time,” he said, while insisting he had secured the 100 nominations needed to progress.

Sunak was quick to pay tribute to Johnson, tweeting: “I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad.”

Labour leaders said Sunak must face the country.

“The Tories have crowned Rishi Sunak without him saying a word about what he would do as PM. He has no mandate, no answers and no ideas,” tweeted Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader.

AFP

Johnson Returns To UK As Sunak Qualifies For PM Race

(COMBO) In this combination of file pictures created in London on October 21, 2022, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R), listens to a question from the media as he attends a press conference at Downing Street in London on March 7, 2022, and Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (L) speaking at the annual Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Central convention centre on October 4, 2021. – Former Conservative leader Boris Johnson and his former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak are neck and neck in the betting as the main candidates explore their options with a week to go in the Conservative leadership election. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali and Ben STANSALL / various sources / AFP)

 

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday returned to Britain from a holiday to launch an audacious political comeback, as Conservative leadership rival Rishi Sunak reached the minimum threshold to contest the UK’s top job.

Johnson cut short a Caribbean trip to join the race to replace outgoing leader Liz Truss, with allies telling British media he was “up for it”.

The divisive 58-year-old Brexit architect only handed over power in early September, two months after announcing his resignation following a Tory revolt over a slew of scandals.

His apparent bid to return to office just weeks later has already been decried by opposition politicians, and even some in his own fractured ruling party who argue that both it and the country need stability and unity.

“We’ve got to go forward, not go back,” Dominic Raab — Johnson’s deputy prime minister — told Sky News, adding an imminent parliamentary inquiry into the “Partygate” scandal that dogged his former boss could prove too distracting.

Raab said former finance minister Sunak’s economic experience meant he was the “standout candidate”.

The Tories were forced into a second, this time expedited, leadership contest since the summer after Truss dramatically announced Thursday she would stand down — just 44 tempestuous days into her tenure.

It followed a disastrous tax-slashing mini-budget that sparked economic and political turmoil which had been predicted by Sunak.

– ‘Fresh start’ –

Late Friday, Sunak’s allies in parliament said he had garnered the nominations of 100 Conservative MPs, the threshold set by the party to stand.

However, both Sunak and Johnson are yet to announce they are running, leaving it to allies to signal their intent.

Cabinet member Penny Mordaunt, who just missed out on making the final runoff after Johnson quit, became the first to formally declare her candidacy again Friday.

The 49-year-old said she was running for “a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest”. But she is already trailing her rivals by dozens of nominations.

The accelerated contest will see the Conservatives’ 357 MPs hold a vote Monday on any candidates with the 100 nominations, before a possible online ballot of party members later in the week if two remain.

The Sunak and Johnson camps are reportedly seeking talks to see if there is scope for a unity deal — although there is plenty of bad blood since the former prime minister’s defenestration.

READ ALSO: Biden Vows Close Cooperation With UK After Truss Quits

Sunak’s July resignation as chancellor of the exchequer helped trigger the government mutiny that ultimately led to Johnson’s ousting.

James Duddridge, one of Johnson’s closest allies in parliament, said late Friday he had been in contact with his old boss via WhatsApp.

“He said… ‘We are going to do this. I’m up for it’,” the MP told Sky News, as the broadcaster published a photograph apparently showing Johnson on a flight home from the Dominican Republic.

– ‘Wielded the knife’ –
The ever-ebullient former leader has won the backing of several cabinet heavyweights, including Defence Secretary Ben Wallace — a favourite of the Tory grassroots — who is “leaning towards” supporting Johnson.

But Wallace noted that he still had “some questions to answer” over the myriad controversies that engulfed his government, which resulted in the yet-to-launch investigation in the House of Commons.

If found guilty of lying to the Commons over “Partygate” — lockdown-breaching revels held in Downing Street — Johnson could be suspended or even expelled from parliament.

As a result of such controversies, Johnson left Number 10 with dismal poll ratings, and other Tories appear aghast at the prospect of his return.

Veteran backbencher Roger Gale warned that Johnson could face a wave of resignations from MPs refusing to serve under him as leader.

Although he remains popular with members who could decide the contest, polling shows he remains broadly disliked by the electorate, with a YouGov survey finding 52 percent of voters opposed his comeback.

Another poll also found that three in five voters now want an early general election, in line with demands from opposition parties, as Britons struggle with a worsening cost-of-living crisis.

In Sunak’s constituency in Yorkshire, northern England, 58-year-old farmer Elaine Stones said the party had made a mistake in electing Truss instead of him last month.

“He’s honest, reliable and he should have been voted in last time,” she told AFP.

But in a sign of party-wide divisions, retiree Maureen Ward called him a “backstabber” who helped to topple Johnson.

“He wielded the knife and once you do that, you can’t be trusted,” she said.

AFP

Boris Johnson To Make Shocking Return For PM Position – Reports

(Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Ex-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a surprise return for a chance at the number one position in the country after the resignation of Liz Truss on Thursday.

Johnson had lost the support of his Tory party following the mishandling of damaging scandals including parties held at Downing Street in defiance of COVID-19 lockdowns and the appointment of Chris Pincher into his government despite knowing his past allegations of sexual misconduct.

According to media sources, the 58-year-old is considering a new run at power in the contest that Tories hope will select a new leader by Friday, October 28.

Former culture secretary and close Johnson’s ally Nadine Dorries tweeted Thursday that he was the only MP with “a mandate from party members and the British public,” having won the 2019 general election.

Despite the ongoing speculations, Johnson has yet to make any formal indications to run for the post.

READ ALSO: Pound, London Stocks Climb After Truss Resignation

Britain’s former finance minister and Truss’ main opponent, Rishi Sunak, is a firm favourite to replace her and push Johnson to the wires. as he is considered a safe pair of fiscal hands.

Johnson made history less than three years ago when he led the Conservatives to their biggest election victory since 1987.

Biden Vows Close Cooperation With UK After Truss Quits

US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Biden announced that most US university graduates still trying to pay off student loans will get $10,000 of relief to address a decades-old headache of massive educational debt across the country. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)
In this file photo, US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Biden announced that most US university graduates still trying to pay off student loans will get $10,000 of relief to address a decades-old headache of massive educational debt across the country. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)

 

US President Joe Biden vowed Thursday to continue close cooperation with Britain following the resignation of Liz Truss, whose six-week premiership was marred by political and economic chaos.

“I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.

“We will continue our close cooperation with the UK government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face.”

AFP

Pound, London Stocks Climb After Truss Resignation

A file photo of some British pounds note.

 

The London stock market and the pound bounced on Thursday after British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation following disastrous policies that rocked the markets for weeks.

The pound traded around 0.4 percent higher against the dollar to $1.1273 after Truss ended six tumultuous weeks in power — but analysts said gains were pared by the ongoing uncertainty.

The FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent while the country’s borrowing costs eased on the news, as the yield on 30-year government bonds, known as gilts, fell to 3.94 percent.

“Sterling and gilts rallied as the sorry reign of Liz Truss came to an end,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.

“After a flurry of activity we are seeing retracement of these initial moves as markets realise that there’s still huge uncertainty about whether the Tory party can survive in power.”

Wilson warned the government’s “economic policies were already dead in the water so the market doesn’t have a huge amount of genuine new information to move on.”

The government had teetered on the brink of collapse after the resignation of home secretary Suella Braverman Wednesday.

On Thursday, Truss announced that she “cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected.”

It comes days after the sacking of finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng and the dismembering of her government’s debt-fuelled budget that had sparked chronic markets turmoil.

“Although the resignation of Liz Truss as Prime Minister leaves the UK without a leader when it faces huge economic, fiscal and financial market challenges, the markets appear to be relieved,” said Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital economics.

The recovery seen Thursday was due to “the markets… further pricing out the risk premium that the Truss government generated.”

There was still plenty of caution towards the UK.

“While this has brought about a brief respite to the political risk premium it’s hard to see how any replacement will be able to coalesce around any form of unity of policy in this dumpster fire of a government,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

– Strong dollar, China fears –

Elsewhere, US and European markets rallied a day after losses over persistent concerns over soaring inflation, interest rate hikes and looming recessions.

Wall Street opened higher while eurozone markets were also higher in afternoon deals.

The haven dollar soared above 150 yen for the first time since 1990 before falling back slightly — stoking speculation that Japanese authorities could intervene again to support the battered currency.

The greenback also rallied to a record high at 7.2790 against the offshore yuan, with the US unit boosted by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes.

Asian markets finished the day in the red, with selling also fuelled by concerns about the Chinese economy as Covid cases spike in the country and leaders stick to lockdown strategies.

A decision to delay the release of China’s third-quarter economic growth data this week added to unease.

Oil extended Wednesday’s rally that came in reaction to a drop in US petroleum stockpiles, and despite President Joe Biden’s decision to release 15 million barrels from US strategic reserves.

– Key figures around 1400 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 6,941.17 points

Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.1 percent at 12,759.03

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 6,074.67

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,484.60

New York – Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 30,665.29

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.9 percent at 27,006.96 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.4 percent at 16,280.22 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,035.05 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1273 from $1.1219 on Wednesday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.85 yen from 149.90 yen

Euro/dollar: UP at $0.9802 from $0.9773

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.98 pence from 87.11 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.4 percent at $93.71 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.9 percent at $86.11 per barrel

AFP

Liz Truss Becomes Downing Street’s Briefest Incumbent

Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss comes back inside 10 Downing Street, in central London, on October 20, 2022 following a statement to announce her resignation. – British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation on after just six weeks in office that looked like a descent into hell, triggering a new internal election within the Conservative Party. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

 

Liz Truss is set to become the shortest-serving prime minister in Britain’s history, after the public, MPs and the markets comprehensively rejected the self-styled heir to Margaret Thatcher.

Truss succeeded Boris Johnson by selling to the Conservative rank-and-file a plan to turbo-charge economic growth through tax cuts, via increased borrowing.

She accused her rival in this summer’s Tory leadership race, Rishi Sunak, of “scaremongering” when he warned that such an approach at a time of rampant inflation would drive up interest rates for millions of Britons.

But that is exactly what happened.

On Thursday, Truss was forced to announce her own resignation, a week after firing her finance minister and “ideological soulmate”, Kwasi Kwarteng, in a desperate bid to shore up her position.

The Tories expect to have a new leader in place by October 28, meaning Truss will comfortably underperform 19th-century leader George Canning, who died in office after serving for 118 days.

She is no stranger to screeching U-turns, having begun her political journey as the Liberal Democrat-supporting daughter of progressive parents. At that time, she also opposed the monarchy and Brexit.

Her youthful calls to abolish the royal family ran headlong into her new role when Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, only two days after appointing Truss.

The new prime minister paid tribute to the late monarch, curtsied to King Charles III, and joined the queen’s successor on a tour of his new UK realms.

But her tribute from the steps of 10 Downing Street was widely seen as stilted, betraying the leaden oratory of Truss in comparison to the verbal theatrics of Johnson.

Yet after scandal-ridden Johnson, Truss’s unvarnished style and promises of a right-wing agenda found favour with the Tory membership.

 

Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss reacts as she delivers a speech outside of 10 Downing Street in central London on October 20, 2022 to announce her resignation. – British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation on after just six weeks in office that looked like a descent into hell, triggering a new internal election within the Conservative Party. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

– ‘Human hand grenade’ –
“She’s always been outspoken. She’s always been a disrupter,” said Mark Littlewood, head of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank and a former member of Oxford University’s Liberal Democrat club with Truss.

“You really need to understand Elizabeth Truss as a kind of free-market liberal,” he told AFP when she took power.

Truss’s rise to become the UK’s third female prime minister inevitably led to comparisons with the first: Thatcher.

During her year-long stint as foreign minister, Truss was pictured riding atop a tank and sporting a Russian fur hat in Moscow, just like the Tory icon.

Johnson’s former top aide Dominic Cummings likened her to a “human hand grenade”, and some MPs accused her of excessive self-promotion.

Truss admitted to not being the “slickest presenter”. She was mocked online for a bizarre speech she gave as environment minister in 2014, offering impassioned support for British cheese and pork.

– Liberal to Tory –
Truss grew up first in Scotland and then in an affluent suburb of Leeds, northern England.

Her mother was a nurse, teacher and campaigner for nuclear disarmament who took her on protests, and her father was a left-wing maths professor.

During the Tory leadership campaign, Truss criticised her Leeds school for fostering “low expectations”.

That prompted a backlash from teachers, contemporaries and locals who accused her of inventing an “insulting” back-story to curry favour with the Tory right.

Despite the school’s supposed failings, she went on to Oxford, where — like Sunak — she graduated in philosophy, politics and economics.

At Oxford, she was president of the university’s Liberal Democrat branch. At the party’s national conference in 1994, she gave a speech calling for the abolition of the monarchy.

“I was a bit of a teenage controversialist,” Truss admitted during campaigning this summer.

By her own admission, her switch to the Conservatives shocked her parents, but she says her beliefs had evolved.

After university, Truss worked in the energy sector, including for Shell, and telecommunications before entering politics a decade later.

She was a local councillor in southeast London for four years and became an MP in 2010, part of a new generation of women and minority candidates encouraged by then party leader David Cameron.

He quashed protests from the local party in the agricultural South West Norfolk constituency, after it emerged that Truss had been having an extra-marital affair with a fellow Tory.

Her critics were dubbed the “Turnip Taliban”.

Truss’s marriage to an accountant survived the episode, and he stood close by as she made her resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street. They have two daughters.

UK’s Next PM To Be Chosen By October 28 – Party

Liz Truss (Photo by Daniel LEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday announced her resignation just six crisis-filled weeks after taking office, becoming the shortest-lived premier in UK history.

The Conservative party vowed a rapid election to have a new leader chosen by October 28, avoiding the drawn-out contest that saw Truss defeat Rishi Sunak over the summer following Boris Johnson’s own resignation.

Truss admitted she “cannot deliver the mandate” on which she was elected, bowing to the inevitable after her right-wing platform of tax cuts disintegrated and as many Conservative MPs revolted.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose opposition party has surged in opinion polls on the back of Truss’s short, eventful tenure, demanded a general election “now”.

“This is not just a soap opera at the top of the Tory party,” he said, warning of “huge damage” to the UK economy, although the pound perked up a little on Truss’s dramatic announcement.

Speaking in Downing Street, Truss said she would stay on as prime minister until a successor is chosen to serve as Tory leader.

“We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week,” she said, after senior backbench MP Graham Brady told her the game was up.

“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.”

Without going into details, Brady told reporters that the new leader would be in place by Friday next week, in time for new finance minister Jeremy Hunt to deliver a crucial budget statement on October 31.

Brady’s statement suggested the party could find a way of bypassing the Tory rank and file who elected Truss, in the face of warnings by Sunak that her debt-fuelled programme threatened higher inflation and market turmoil.

– Sunak the favourite –

Sunak’s warnings were vindicated, and the former finance minister quickly emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite on Thursday. But he remains held in deep suspicion by Johnson loyalists.

The end for Truss came after a key minister resigned and many Tory MPs rebelled over an important vote in chaotic scenes at the House of Commons late Wednesday.

By Thursday morning, more than a dozen Conservative MPs had publicly urged Truss to resign, after her tax-cutting plans caused a market meltdown during an already severe cost-of-living crisis.

Many more were reported to have submitted letters to Brady calling for Truss to be removed, although party rules would have forbidden another leadership campaign for 12 months.

“The prime minister acknowledges yesterday was a difficult day and she recognises the public wanted to see the government focusing less on politics and more on delivering their priorities,” her official spokesman told reporters.

Barely two hours later, she quit, and will fall well short of Tory predecessor George Canning who served 118 days as prime minister in 1827 before dying in office.

Amid Russia’s war in Ukraine and growing economic problems, Britain’s allies have been observing the tumult with concern, with political instability recurrent since the country voted in 2016 to quit the European Union.

“It is important that Great Britain regains political stability very quickly, and that is all I wish,” French President Emmanuel Macron said after Truss’s announcement.

For its part, the Russian foreign ministry said Britain has “never known such a disgrace as prime minister”.

Events reached a head after what right-wing tabloid The Sun called “a day of extraordinary mayhem” on Wednesday.

Interior minister Suella Braverman left, apparently at Truss’s demand after she sent a government document in a personal email.

But Braverman, an arch right-winger who enjoys strong support among the Tory membership, used her resignation message to attack Truss in blistering terms.

There then followed farcical scenes in parliament as many Tory MPs rebelled against the government’s demand that they drop the party’s manifesto commitment to maintain a ban on fracking.

Accusations swirled of heavy-handed efforts to whip MPs into line, some of whom later briefed the media that it was the nail in the coffin of the Truss premiership.

Conservative lord Ed Vaizey said the “only way out of this mess is for Liz Truss to stand down and for somebody to be appointed as prime minister by Conservative MPs”.

– ‘Serious concerns’ –

The prime minister’s woes began when her showpiece tax-slashing policy sparked market chaos that threatened the country’s pension funds, forcing her into a series of humiliating U-turns.

Braverman’s departure on Wednesday triggered the second reshuffle this month after Truss sacked close ally Kwasi Kwarteng over the budget debacle, replacing him with Hunt, who swiftly reversed almost all the policy announcements.

Truss appointed Grant Shapps to replace Braverman despite firing him as transport secretary when she took office.

Both Shapps and Hunt had supported her rival for the leadership, Sunak, leaving her isolated in her own cabinet.

In her resignation letter, Braverman flagged up “serious concerns” that Truss was breaking manifesto promises.

“Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see we’ve made them, and hoping things will magically come right is not serious politics,” Braverman wrote.

AFP

UK PM Liz Truss Resigns After Six Weeks

 

British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday dramatically announced her resignation just six weeks after taking office.

Truss bowed to the inevitable after her right-wing platform of tax cuts disintegrated and as many MPs among the ruling Conservatives revolted.

Speaking in Downing Street, Truss said she would stay on as prime minister until a successor is chosen to serve as Tory leader.

“We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week,” she said, after senior backbench MP Graham Brady told her the game was up.

“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.

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

Truss was UK’s third female PM after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose opposition party has surged in opinion polls on the back of Truss’s short, crisis-plagued tenure, demanded a general election “now”.

The end for Truss came after a key minister resigned and many Tory MPs rebelled over an important vote in chaotic scenes at the House of Commons late Wednesday.

By Thursday morning, more than a dozen Conservative MPs had publicly urged Truss to resign, after her tax-cutting plans caused a market meltdown during an already severe cost-of-living crisis.

Many more were reported to have submitted letters to Brady calling for her to be removed, although party rules would have forbidden another leadership campaign for 12 months.

“The prime minister acknowledges yesterday was a difficult day and she recognises the public wanted to see the government focusing less on politics and more on delivering their priorities,” her official spokesman told reporters.

Barely two hours later, she quit.

Events reached a head after what right-wing tabloid The Sun called “a day of extraordinary mayhem” on Wednesday.

Interior minister Suella Braverman left, apparently at Truss’s demand after she sent a government document in a personal email.

But Braverman, an arch right-winger who enjoys strong support among the Tory membership, used her resignation message to attack Truss in blistering terms.

 

– ‘Clinging to power’ –

 

There then followed farcical scenes in parliament as many Tory MPs rebelled against the government’s demand that they drop the party’s manifesto commitment to maintain a ban on fracking.

Accusations swirled of heavy-handed efforts to whip MPs into line, some of whom later briefed the media that it was the nail in the coffin of the Truss premiership.

Conservative lord Ed Vaizey said the “only way out of this mess is for Liz Truss to stand down and for somebody to be appointed as prime minister by Conservative MPs”.

Now, the party can avoid a lengthy leadership contest by consolidating around a unity candidate for her replacement.

Truss beat former finance minister Rishi Sunak in the leadership race after Boris Johnson announced his resignation in July — but Johnson supporters have vowed to block a coronation for Sunak now.

 

– ‘Must leave’ –

 

The prime minister’s woes began when her showpiece tax-slashing policy sparked market chaos that threatened the country’s pension funds, forcing her into a series of humiliating U-turns.

Braverman’s departure on Wednesday triggered the second reshuffle this month after Truss sacked close ally Kwasi Kwarteng over the budget debacle, replacing him with Jeremy Hunt, who swiftly reversed almost all the policy announcements.

READ ALSO: 200 Arrested, Dozens Injured In Chile Protests

The Daily Telegraph reported that Braverman left after a “heated face-to-face row” with Truss and Hunt “over their demands to soften her stance on immigration”.

Truss appointed Grant Shapps to replace Braverman despite firing him as transport secretary when she took office.

Both Shapps and Hunt had supported her rival for the leadership, Sunak, leaving her isolated in her own cabinet.

Braverman, seen as a hardliner on immigration, said she had resigned over a “technical infringement” of government rules.

But in her resignation letter, she flagged up “serious concerns” that Truss was breaking manifesto promises.

“Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see we’ve made them, and hoping things will magically come right is not serious politics,” Braverman wrote.

 

– PM booed –

 

Braverman’s resignation message came hours after Truss sought to dispel doubts over her leadership with a combative appearance in parliament.

Truss faced harsh putdowns from Labour’s Starmer as she took part in her first Prime Minister’s Questions since the budget U-turns.

Starmer asked the House of Commons: “What’s the point of a prime minister whose promises don’t even last a week?”, as opposition MPs jeered and booed Truss, and her own party’s MPs remained silent.

AFP

Timeline: Liz Truss’ Six Weeks In Office

Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss holds a press conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room in central London on October 14, 2022, following the sacking of the finance minister in response to a budget that sparked markets chaos. – Truss dismissed her finance minister, forcing Kwasi Kwarteng to carry the can for turmoil sparked by her right-wing economic platform as restive Conservatives plotted her own demise. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Embattled Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned Thursday following a failed tax-cutting budget that rocked financial markets and which led to a revolt within her own Conservative Party.

She had spent 44 days in office, the shortest term of any Prime Minister in British history, effective on the appointment of her successor.

Truss said in a statement outside Downing Street: “We set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.”

“I recognize 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 announce that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”

Below is a timeline of her torrid stay in office

5th September 2022: Emerges UK’s Third Female Prime Minister

. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

Truss, then foreign secretary comfortably beat her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, by about 57 to 43 per cent after a gruelling summer-long contest decided by just over 170,000 Conservative members — a tiny sliver of Britain’s electorate.

Her victory speech had her putting forth a “bold plan” to address tax cuts and the energy crisis.

8th September 2022: Queen Elizabeth II Dies

Crowds of the public gather for the Queen’s funeral cortege proceeding at Holyroodhouse on September 11, 2022, in Edinburgh, Scotland. On April 21, 1926, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Mayfair, London’s Bruton Street. Following the passing of her father, King George VI, she wed Prince Philip in 1947, and on February 6, 1952, she succeeded him as monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. (Photo by Dylan Morrison/NurPhoto) (Photo by Dylan Morrison / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP)

 

Three days into assuming office as Prime minister, she had to deal with the death of Queen Elizabeth II who had reigned for almost 70 years

Truss said “we are all devastated” at the news of the Queen’s death, which is a “huge shock to the nation and the world”.

She also described the Queen as “a rock on which modern Britain was built”, adding: “Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”

23rd September 2022: Chancellor Kwasi Kwateng’s Mini-Budget Announcement

(Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Kwarteng announced a 45% additional rate income tax band for those earning more than £150,000 would be scrapped entirely. while the 40% higher rate, charged on incomes above £50,271, will remain.

The chancellor will bring forward a cut in the basic rate of income tax from 20% to 19% by April 2023.

Truss will go on to say she believed the proposed tax cuts and increased government borrowing represented the “right plan” for the nation.

26th September 2022: Pound Slumps To A Low Against Dollar

A file photo of some British pounds note.

 

A major economic setback Truss had to endure was the slump of the Pound against the Dollar as markets reacted to the UK’s most significant tax cuts in 50 years.

Sterling fell close to $1.03 early Monday before regaining some ground to stand at $1.08.

She would avoid commenting on the fall in the pound.

3rd October 2022: Truss Rescinds Decision To Cut Rate On Income Tax

 

File photo: UK PM Liz Truss

 

Truss and Kwateng abandoned their plan to abolish the 45% top rate of income tax in a humiliating U-turn, after a growing Conservative revolt over the policy and a turbulent reaction from markets.

Kwarteng would go on to say: “We get it, and we have listened.”

Truss said the decision to cut tax for people on incomes of £150,000 or more “has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our country”.

14th October 2022: Truss Fires Kwateng, Appoints Jeremy Hunt As Replacement

 

Truss dismissed Kwarteng as her chancellor and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt ahead of a U-turn on key sections of her disastrous mini-budget, as she launched a desperate attempt to restore her crumbling political authority and to reach out more broadly to Conservative MPs.

In a tweeted letter to Truss, Kwarteng wrote: “You have asked me to stand aside as chancellor. I have accepted.”

Hunt, the former foreign secretary and health secretary who had been on the backbenches since Boris Johnson took over in 2019, was then named as Kwarteng’s replacement.

20th October 2022: Liz Truss Steps Aside As Prime Minister

 

 

Truss dramatically announced her resignation and bowed to the inevitable after her right-wing platform of tax cuts disintegrated and as many MPs among the ruling Conservatives revolted.

Speaking in Downing Street, She said she would stay as prime minister until a successor was chosen to serve as Tory leader.