Liz Truss wins race to become Tory leader, British PM
Liz Truss has won the conservative party leadership, which automatically makes her to be the next third female British prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
Most of Britain’s 67 million people had no say in Truss’ ascension. Instead, she was chosen by the party’s 180,000 members, who are 97% white; skew older, wealthy and male; and lean to the right of Britain’s political spectrum. Truss does not appear to be hugely popular in polls of the broader public, and she was not the top choice of her party’s lawmakers, but she was the favorite of its members.
The next general election might not be until early 2025; polls give the opposition Labour Party large leads over the Conservatives following the acrimony around Johnson’s fall.
Labour leader Keir Starmer congratulated Truss in a recorded video but added, “The change we need in Britain is not a change at the top of the Tory party,” referring to the Conservative Party by its centuries-old nickname.
Top of Truss’ priorities will be the country’s cost-of-living crisis: skyrocketing bills for food and energy (household electricity and gas bills are set to triple), fears of blackouts this winter and inflation that has sent real-terms wages falling. Millions of people may face the choice between heating their homes or feeding their families, while many small businesses say they will fold unless the government takes action.
Truss has promised to announce her plans on the issue this week. In her acceptance speech, she vowed tax cuts and said: "I will deliver on the energy crisis."
Truss won't officially become PM until Tuesday after meeting the Queen alongside Johnson. However, the future of her premiership will depend largely on how the wider electorate feel about her leadership.