At the Queen Elizabeth II Center, party leader Graham Brady announced that Truss had received 81,326 votes from party members, more than 20,000 more than her rival Sunak. It amounts to 57.4 percent of the vote, less than Johnson’s 66.4 percent in 2019. When accepting the leadership, she expressed warm words towards her predecessor Boris Johnson, who is spending his last full working day at the Checkers country retreat. . “Boris, you brokered Brexit, crushed Jeremy Corbyn, delivered the vaccine and you stood up to Putin.”
The result came as no surprise: Truss had been well ahead of the polls for weeks among the grassroots, which consists of more than 170,000 members. She is seen as a standard-bearer of Thatcherism, especially given her radical and neoliberal view in economic terms. In her short acceptance speech, she emphasized her party’s belief in “freedom, the ability to organize your own life, low taxes and taking personal responsibility”.
With Truss, Britain will have their third female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. With the somewhat older Tories, Truss turned out to be better than her opponent Sunak, who was seen as a representative of the established order. He was also accused of stabbing Johnson in the back. The victory of Truss, an Oxford alumnus who has worked as an accountant for Shell and as director of a telecom company, is a victory for the neoliberal Brexiteers.
In The Sunday Telegraph Mark Littlewood, boss of a Thatcherian think tank, predicted that Truss will become “one of the most radical prime ministers in a century.” On Brexit, Truss, who until today was Foreign Secretary, is expected to take a tougher stance on the European Union than her predecessor on the dispute over Northern Ireland. Also in its approach to Russia and China is a hawk.
Tax relief this week
The new prime minister faces an energy and purchasing power crisis that threatens to disrupt the country. She has said she will announce measures this week to ease the pain. She is reportedly coming up with a £100 billion bailout package to keep citizens warm and save businesses from ruin. With that, she would have already reached an agreement with Kwasi Kwarteng, her good friend, neighbor and soul mate who is said to be minister of finance.
For Europe, the election of Truss is not necessarily favorable. She is a reborn Brexiteer and is supported by both the older and younger generation of Eurosceptics. She is expected to take up the fight with the EU, which could potentially lead to a trade dispute with Europe.
Boris Johnson calls for unity
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also responded to the news. The current prime minister has called on his Conservative party members to “unite one hundred percent” with his successor Liz Truss. “I know she has the right plan to tackle the crisis of longevity, unite our party and continue the unification and upgrading of our country. Now is the time for all Conservatives to be 100 percent behind her,” the outgoing prime minister tweeted.