UK: Truss takes the reins with much to prove
By Hamed Chapman
London, (The Muslim News): Queen Elizabeth II asked Liz Truss to form a new government after being sworn into office by the British monarch as the 15th prime minister.
In a workman-like speech outside Downing Street upon her return from seeing the Queen in Scotland, Truss made three pledges – to deliver on the economy, on escalating energy billing and the NHS, that will put the country on the route to long-term success.
“Our country was built by people who get things done,” the new Prime Minister said. Together, she insisted, she can “ride out the storm” and rebuild the economy to become the “modern, brilliant Britain I know we can be”.
The Prime Minister also promised to “transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high paying jobs, safe streets, and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve”.
Fewer than half of the current 357 Tory MPs publicly declared their support for her candidature while the margin of victory among party members was far short of the more than 20 points lead over her rivalry Rishi Sunak which repeated opinion polls had shown.
With such political divisions, Truss is seen being confronted with what is seen as the biggest series of crises facing any prime minister since World War Two, both at home and abroad.
“Her in-tray is just extraordinarily grim economically, financially – with trade unions, socially – with unrest, and with waiting lists in the NHS,” historian Sir Anthony Seldon told the BBC, before also mentioning the war in Ukraine, ties with the EU over Brexit still to repair as well as the country having a weak relationship with the US.
Truss was seen repeating similar mistakes as her popularist predecessor by appointing her closest allies in the top three positions as chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary, making her government relatively the least experienced in modern history.
Her immediate task was to name her government with Kwasi Kwarteng expected to become chancellor of the exchequer, Suella Braverman as home secretary and James Cleverly as foreign secretary.
Liz Truss, is set to become the fourth Tory prime minister in six years.
[Photo: Newly elected Prime Minister, Liz Truss speaking at No.10 Downing Street after an audience with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral, Scotland. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street]