Amidst a devastating cost of living crisis, Liz Truss has beaten Rishi Sunak to become the country's next Prime Minister
The votes have been counted, and Liz Truss has been announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party. Following the formal resignation of Boris Johnson, Truss will take office as Prime Minister tomorrow – on September 6.
Truss won 57 per cent of the vote of Conservative Party members, defeating Rishi Sunak by a 14 point margin. 82.6 per cent of the more than 170,000 Tory members voted.
Truss will take office at one of the most challenging moments for a modern Prime Minister – spiralling inflation and a cost of living crisis meets a crumbling NHS and a populace rightly distrustful of government in the wake of Johnson’s scandal-ridden premiership. All this is set against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and intensifying climate catastrophe.
It won’t be long before we get an idea of who will be facing up to these challenges and taking the top jobs in the new Prime Minister’s government. Truss is expected to make her cabinet appointments on Tuesday evening.
Rumours and insider tips suggest the her new cabinet will see right-wingers granted even more influence than under Johnson.
Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to be given responsibility for the country’s economy as he is tipped to become the next Chancellor. A Brexiteer, Kwarteng is – along with Truss – one of the authors of the infamous book Britannia Unchained which made the case for ripping up regulation and cutting taxes.
Suella Braverman is rumoured to be taking over from Priti Patel as Home Secretary. Braverman is a key player in the Tory Party’s culture wars, having bemoaned excess equality and diversity training and criticised schools for trying to accommodate transgender pupils. She has previously been heavily criticised for saying the country was in a battle against ‘cultural Marxism’ – a term with antisemitic origins and that featured in the manifesto of the Norwegian far right terrorist Anders Breivik.
Other right-wingers are also tipped for major jobs. Reports suggest Jacob Rees-Mogg will be promoted to Business Secretary in Truss’ cabinet. Nadine Dorries is thought to be staying in post as Culture Secretary. Kemi Badenoch is rumoured to be in the running for Education Secretary or the International Trade brief. And John Redwood – a militant Brexiteer who sought to bring down John Major as Prime Minister in the 90s – has been touted as a potential treasury minister.
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward
Image credit: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street – Creative Commons