Liz Truss yesterday emerged as the third female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), after Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher.
Truss succeeds Boris Johnson who resigned his appointment as PM in July over a series of scandals.
She is also the Conservative Party Leader and was able to gather 81,326 votes to beat her rival, former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak who had 60,399 votes.
Before her emergence as Prime Minister, Truss was the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
She will formally take office today after Johnson tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.
Liz Truss pledged action to tackle the crisis in a short victory speech at a conference center in London.
According to the CNN, without offering details, Truss promised a “bold plan” to cut taxes and build economic growth, and, “deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”
Yesterday’s announcement ended weeks of bitter campaigning during which Sunak, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), accused the Foreign Secretary of risking a prolonged recession if she goes ahead with her promised tax cuts.
Once Johnson formally resigns his post to the Queen today, Truss would also visit the monarch at her Scottish residence Balmoral, where, as leader of the largest party in parliament, she will be invited to form a government.
Truss had been the frontrunner for weeks, and the 47-year-old will now follow Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May to become Britain’s third female premier.
Despite voting to remain in the European Union back in 2016, she had found herself to be the preferred candidate of the vast majority of Brexiteers in her party.
Her victory was smaller than expected, Conservatives who supported both candidates are privately admitting. It had been predicted by many that her margin of victory would be larger than the 18 percentage points announced on Monday afternoon.
In terms of her premiership, this could mean that she cannot run roughshod over her MPs, who voted in greater numbers for Sunak than Truss in the parliamentary part of this leadership contest.
Truss could find that she has to accommodate a wider range of views from her party, which could mean embracing Sunak’s ideas for helping Britons with the cost-of-living crisis and a less aggressive approach to tax cuts — especially corporation tax.
Many Conservative MPs are privately worried that Truss’s modern-day Thatcherism could cost them the next election and will be leaping on the surprisingly low margin of victory to encourage the next PM to soften her economic stance.
The opposition Labour Party immediately dismissed her arguments, saying in a statement, “after years serving in Tory cabinets, nodding through the decisions that got us into this mess, Liz Truss simply doesn’t have the answers to this crisis.”
Throughout her political career, especially during the leadership contest, Truss has been compared to Thatcher, who, for many on the right, remains the benchmark for Conservative leaders. She was a tax-cutting, hard-nosed leader who took on the unions and played a large role in ending the Cold War. Like Thatcher, Truss has come from relatively humble beginnings to dominate a world inhabited largely by men.
Analysts were skeptical that Truss’s tax-cutting policies would do much help citizens, especially after a decade of austerity policies.
The Institute for Fiscal studies, an independent research group focusing on public finances, said last month that the leadership contestants, who were both promising tax cuts and smaller government spending, “need to recognise this even greater-than-usual uncertainty in the public finances.”