Prime Minister Liz Truss resigns after just 44 days in office
After six weeks of chaos and turmoil at the heart of UK government, Prime Minister Liz Truss has resigned.
Truss goes after unveiling a now-abandoned economic plan that spooked markets and collapsed the Conservative party’s poll ratings.
Speaking outside Number 10 Downing Street this afternoon, she said:
“I cannot deliver the mandate on which I’ve elected by the Conservative Party.”
“I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of that party.”
“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We’ve agreed that the will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week.”
“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain on economic stability and national security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”
Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, has called for an immediate general election.
He said: “The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern.”
“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. In the last few years, the Tories have set record-high taxation, trashed our institutions and created a cost-of-living crisis.”
“Now, they have crashed the economy so badly that people are facing £500 a month extra on their mortgages. The damage they have done will take years to fix.”
“Each one of these crises was made in Downing Street but paid for by the British public. Each one has left our country weaker and worse off.”
“The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people.”
“They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish.”
“The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future. They must have the chance to compare the Tories’ chaos with Labour’s plans to sort out their mess, grow the economy for working people and rebuild the country for a fairer, greener future.”
“We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election – now.”
Mark Tami, MP for Alyn & Deeside, said:
“Liz Truss may be gone – but the mess she’s made isn’t. Across Alyn & Deeside, thousands of people will pay higher energy bills, higher mortgage interest and higher food prices because of the choices she made in just 45 days in charge.”
“The Tories chose her, the Tories backed her, and the Tories have to take responsibility for her. This is their mess – and they can’t be trusted to clean it up.”
“This chaos cannot continue while the Tories choose another hapless Prime Minister to force on the country without giving the British people a say. We need a general election, and a strong and stable government led by Sir Keir Starmer.”
Truss won 57.4% of ballots from Conservative party members in a leadership contest, making her the new leader and confirmed by the Queen on 6 September.
Her brief premiership has been dominated by the cost of living crisis, and a now infamous ‘mini budget’ on the 23rd of September which relied heavily on government borrowing – and was effectively scrapped.
Events in Westminster appeared to gain pace this lunchtime when “unscheduled meeting” between PM Truss and Graham Brady, the Chair of the 1922 Committee, took place.
Last night saw chaos in the Houses of Parliament following a rejection of a Labour motion last night that would guarantee parliamentary time for a bill to ban fracking.
It was reported Conservative party whips initially indicated the motion would be treated as a confidence motion in the Truss government, with the ususal consequences to those who did not toe the line.
MPs in the Commons were then told that the division would no longer be treated as a vote of confidence.
The U-turn – or error by a junior staffer at No 10 as described by some – caused unprecedented scenes in the division lobbies and Rhondda MP Chris Bryant claimed he saw MPs being “physically manhandled” and “bullied” into the voting lobby but business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed the allegations.
During the chaos reports emerged that Wendy Morton had left the post of chief whip, her deputy, Craig Whittaker also quit. However, a few hours later, a No 10 spokesman issued a statement to say that the “chief and deputy chief whip remain in post”.
In a widely circulated clip following the events Conservative MP for Broxbourne, and Chair of the House of Commons Administration Committee, Sir Charles Walker said Liz Truss’s government was “an absolute disgrace” and her ministers a group of “talentless people.”
Speaking to the BBC last night he said: “To be perfectly honest, this whole affair is inexcusable.”
“It is just, it is a pitiful reflection on the Conservative Parliamentary party at every level and it reflects really badly obviously on the government of the day.”
“This is an absolute disgrace. As a Tory MP of 17 years who has never been a minister who has got on with it loyally most of the time, I think it is a shambles and a disgrace.”
“I think it is utterly appalling. I am livid.”
“And you know, I really shouldn’t say this but I hope all the people that put Liz Truss into Number 10, I hope it was worth it, I hope it was worth it for the ministerial red box, I hope it was worth it to sit around the Cabinet table because the damage they have done to our party is extraordinary.”
“I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough of talentless people putting their tick in the right box, not because it’s in the national interest but because it’s in their own personal interest to achieve ministerial position.”
“And I know I speak for hundreds of backbenchers who right now are worrying for their constituents all the time but are now worrying for their own personal circumstances because there is nothing as ex as an ex-MP.”
Commenting on the news, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Andrew RT Davies has said:
“The Prime Minister has done the right thing and stood down.
“People wherever they live in the United Kingdom are rightly concerned about the cost-of-living crisis.
“The new Prime Minister must grip this situation quickly, and provide leadership, confidence and hope to people across our nation.
“The Conservative Party must rise to this challenge, and deliver for people across Wales and the United Kingdom.”
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