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UK: Why Liz Truss Resigned And Who Might Replace Her?

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United Kingdom Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned on Thursday. She had spent only 45 days in office. The highlights of her tenure, the shortest for a UK PM, was marked with financial chaos.  

Her resignation followed the disagreement of her cabinet ministers over the ‘mini-budget’ policy she introduced. The policy, which has now been overturned by the new finance minister Jeremy Hunt, had various unfunded tax cuts that would have cost the country’s economy $48 billion worth of taxes.

While announcing her resignation, she said, “I recognize, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected. I have spoken to King Charles to notify him I’m resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”

Following a meeting with Brady, the head of the 1922 Committee, Truss announced his resignation. In the course of the meeting’s hour-long duration, 17 Conservative MPs publicly demanded that Truss resign.

Why Liz Truss Resigned?

Truss’ tenure was marred with political chaos, followed by departure of two cabinet ministers within a week. Liz Truss replaced former prime minister Boris Johnson on September 6.

  1. In reaction to skyrocketing prices brought on by the Russia-Ukraine war,  Liz Truss unveiled a pricey plan to control household energy costs during first week in office. 
  2. The new UK cabinet’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, revealed a “mini-budget” in September that included the cost of the energy plan for $67 billion over six months, but no plans to collect money. However, the tax cut measures, intended to enhance the UK’s economic crisis, failed to bring the desired result. As a result, the pound fell to an all-time low against the US dollar and it also raised the cost of borrowing for the UK.
  3. He announced significant borrowing and new tax cuts, particularly ones for top incomes in the UK, in place of specific measures, which caused the Pound to plummet and the political fire the UK cabinet endured. Kwarteng promised “more to come on tax cuts” two days later.
  4. After hasty late-night meetings, Liz Truss was compelled to reverse course on her intended reduction in the top rate of income tax in the face of criticism and outcry. Kwasi Kawarteng was eventually let go after 38 days at work.
  5. After a disagreement over immigration with Truss and the finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, the crisis for Truss did not end; her home minister Suella Baverman resigned, citing “severe issues” with the government.

Who will be the UK’s next PM?

The party will now have a leadership election within the next week, October 28. Until her replacement is chosen, Truss will continue to serve as prime minister.But the question arises, who will become the next Prime Minister. The upcoming prime minister will be Britain’s fifth PM in just six years. Here are the top contenders for the post. 

  • Rishi Sunak

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Sunak had resigned leading to the downfall of the Johnson administration. He then stood as the PM candidate. However, he lost to Truss by 43% against her 57%. Before Ms. Truss resigned, Mr. Sunak was mentioned as a potential unity candidate.

  • Boris Johnson

The Former prime minister is thinking of running for a second term in office. His tenure was marred by controversies over the atmosphere in Downing Street, including violations of the lockdown guidelines.

  • Penny Mordaunt

She finished third in the previous leadership race, and is currently the House of Commons Leader and Lord President of the Council. In her tenure, Ms. Mordaunt has served in nine ministerial positions, including those of international development secretary and first female defense secretary under Theresa May.

  • Ben Wallace

Wallace, the defense secretary, had previously been considered the Conservative party’s front-runner to succeed Boris Johnson. Wallace served as a captain in the Scots Guards before entering politics. 

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