Liz Truss has been appointed as the next Prime Minister of Britain

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  • Truss defeated former Finance Minister Sunak as the new Prime Minister
  • Boris Johnson will officially step down on Tuesday
  • New leader faces cost of living, energy price crisis

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Liz Truss was named Britain’s next prime minister on Monday, winning a leadership race for the ruling Conservative Party at a time when the country faces a cost-of-living crisis, industrial unrest and recession.

After weeks of a bitter and divisive leadership contest pitting the foreign minister against former finance minister Rishi Sunak, Truss won the Conservative Party members’ vote by 60,399 to 81,326 votes.

“We have to show that we will deliver over the next two years. I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy,” Truss said after the decision was announced.

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“I will deliver on the energy crisis, I will deal with people’s energy bills, but I will also deal with the long-term problems we have with energy supply.”

The announcement prompts a handover from Boris Johnson, who was forced to announce his resignation in July after months of scandals saw support for his administration drain.

He will travel to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday to officially submit his resignation letter. Truss would follow him and be asked by the king to form a government.

A long-time front-runner to replace Johnson, Truss will be the Conservatives’ fourth prime minister since the 2015 election. The country has lurched from crisis to crisis in that period and is now facing a prolonged recession fueled by inflation that peaked at 10.1% in July.

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Truss, 47, foreign secretary under Boris Johnson, pledged to act quickly to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis, saying within a week he would come up with a plan to tackle rising energy bills and secure future fuel supplies.

Truss said during his presidential campaign that he would challenge convention by repealing tax increases and cutting other taxes that some economists say would fuel inflation.

That, along with the Bank of England’s pledge to rebalance its currency while protecting its independence, prompted some investors to dump the pound and government bonds.

Kwasi Kwarteng, widely tipped to be his finance minister, sought to calm markets on Monday, saying in an article in the Financial Times newspaper that there would be “some fiscal easing” under Truce, but that his administration would act. Financial Responsibility Way”. Read more

Truss faces a long, expensive and difficult to-do list, which opposition lawmakers say is the result of 12 years of poor Conservative government. Many have called for early elections – something Truss said will not be allowed.

Senior Conservative lawmaker David Davies described the challenges he faced as prime minister as “the second toughest brief of post-war prime ministers” after Conservative Margaret Thatcher in 1979.

“I really don’t think any of the candidates, none of them, really know how big this is going to be,” he said, adding that the costs could run into the tens of thousands of pounds.

Truss has said he will appoint a strong cabinet, abandon what one source close to him called a “presidential style” and work hard to win over some lawmakers from his party who supported Sunak. .

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The government think tank said Truss would have a weaker starting point than his predecessors because he was not the most popular choice among his party’s lawmakers.

First, he will turn to the pressing issue of rising energy prices. Average annual household utility bills will rise by 80% to £3,549 in October, ahead of an expected £6,000 in 2023, wiping out personal finances.

Britain has lagged behind other major European countries in backing consumer energy bills, with opposition lawmakers blaming a “zombie” government unable to act as the Conservatives hold their leadership contest. read more

In May, the government set up a £15bn support package to help families with energy bills as part of its £37bn-cost of living support programme.

Italy has spent 52 billion euros ($51.75 billion) so far this year to help its people. In France, an increase in electricity bills was 4% and Germany said on Sunday it would save at least 65 billion euros to protect consumers and businesses from rising inflation.

($1 = 1.0049 euros)

($1 = 0.8715 pounds)

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Elizabeth Piper and William Schomberg report; Editing by Frances Kerry, Emilia Sithole-Madaris Angus MacSwan and Frank Jack Daniel

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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