21 June 2024

Truss resigns as Prime Minister

Liz Truss has announced her resignation as prime minister, making her the shortest serving PM in UK history.

She delivered a statement outside Downing Street after meeting with the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, as more Tories were calling for her to quit.

Ms Truss said she could not now deliver the mandate on which she was elected as Tory leader, and had notified the King that she was resigning.

It came after an unprecedented day in Westminster yesterday that included the resignation of home secretary Suella Braverman, and a chaotic vote on fracking that led to accusations of bullying and intimidation of MPs.

There will be another Tory leadership contest that will be completed within the coming week, and Ms Truss said she would remain as prime minster until its outcome.

Calls for a General Election continued to grow after the announcement, with Labour leader Keir Starmer demanding one “now”, saying “Britain can’t afford the Tories’ chaos.”

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “We don’t need another Conservative Prime Minister lurching from crisis to crisis. We need a General Election now and the Conservatives out of power.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “An utter shambles. This can’t go on. General Election now.”

The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, who replaced Kwasi Kwarteng on October 14 after his sacking over the fallout from the mini-budget, has confirmed he will not be standing in the leadership contest.

Ms Truss’s statement read: “I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills.

“Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent. And our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth.

“I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills and on cutting national insurance. And we set out a vision for a low tax high growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.

“I recognise 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 notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.

“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We’ve agreed that there 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 our country’s economic stability and national security.

“I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart said later: “I am sorry to see the Prime Minister resign today.

“When she entered Downing Street, the Prime Minister set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy to make our country an aspiration nation. During her time in office she delivered on her promise of reversing the National Insurance increase and introduced the Energy Prices Bill to give families and businesses the support they need with their energy bills.

“I have been proud to serve during her premiership as minister for climate working to deliver the Government’s positive vision to achieve our aim of making the UK net-zero by 2050.

“I will support the next leader of the Conservative Party in their work to provide security and stability for the country, and I wish the Prime Minister and her family the very best for the future.”