NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Who is Liz Truss, the new prime minister of the UK?

The announcement for the new UK PM is over and former foreign secretary Liz Truss is the new top dog. What is her background and history?

FILE PHOTO: Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss speaks as she is interviewed by British radio host Nick Ferrari during a hustings event, part of the Conservative party leadership campaign, in London, Britain August 31, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

After a seemingly endless leadership campaign, the UK knows its next prime minister, Elizabeth, better known as Liz, Truss. She beat opponent Rishi Sunak with 57 percent of votes cast and was widely expected to win. She replaces Boris Johnson in the post.

Truss inherits a country in trouble as exceedingly high inflation and gas prices threatens to bring the nation to a halt.

Who is Liz Truss?

47-year old Truss becomes the third woman to become prime minister of the United Kingdom after her apparent idol Margaret Thatcher. Truss has seemingly made a point about being the successor to Thatcher in a number of media appearances, such as copying styles such as the Ushanka hat in Russia as well as riding a tank.

She has staked her claim to the premiership to Conservative Party members, who decided the next PM, by evoking memories of the extremely divisive Thatcher. Truss has promised to “govern like a conservative,” likely meaning extremely light government spending and a reliance on the private sector for growth rather than supporting the public sector. This will bring her into conflict with many in her party and the nation who see the need to support Britain’s poorest as it faces down the worst economic crisis in half a century.

Truss wasn’t always a conservative. In her younger days, she used to be a Liberal Democrat supporter, a more centrist political party compared to the Conservatives. She was president of the Oxford University Liberal Democrat group.

“She’s been a market liberal all of her adult life,” according to Mark Littlewood, director general of the libertarian, free market think-tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs. He was a Lib Dem at Oxford with Truss.

“Her political career reflects her ideology - she has always been highly sceptical of big government and privileged institutions who think they know best,” Mr Littlewood said.

Big challenges ahead for Truss as prime minister

Energy prices in the UK have soared since 2021. That summer the price cap, that is the maximum amount energy suppliers can charge a household, was barely over £1,000. The price cap will rise to more than £3,500 from October 2022 and is expected to hit £5,386 from January 2023. Millions of Britons are under threat from these price rises and have little money to weather them.

Businesses are not protected by the price cap so many are seeing monthly costs hit tens of thousands of pounds.

Truss has said she will cut taxes to encourage people to spend their way out of trouble, but with households stricken this will be of little help. A plan to reverse a tax rise would increase spending power by the poorest households by £7.66 while those on the highest incomes could gain more than £1,800.

Truss said it is “fair” that higher earners receive more money through tax cuts.


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?