Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, receives the “fervent” support of Boris Johnson

Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, receives the “fervent” support of Boris Johnson
Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives his final speech outside 10 Downing Street in London on September 6, 2022, before heading to Balmoral to tender his resignation.

Galloping inflation, social discontent, post-Brexit measures… Liz Truss is eagerly awaited on the cost of living crisis. The new British Prime Minister entered Downing Street on Tuesday, September 6, to replace Boris Johnson, who promised him his “fervent” support.

“It’s over, friends” : in a short speech outside Downing Street in the early morning, the outgoing leader praised his own record in front of hundreds of people, and compared himself to a “rocket having accomplished its mission” and re-entering the atmosphere. “I will offer this government my most fervent support”he assured.

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At the end of the morning, the outgoing head of government arrived at Balmoral Castle (Scotland), the summer residence of Elizabeth II, to officially present his resignation. The 96-year-old sovereign will receive Liz Truss a few moments later to ask her to form a government, in a particularly difficult period for the United Kingdom, faced with a historic economic and social crisis.

After three years and forty-four days, barely more than Theresa May, whom he replaced in 2019, Boris Johnson, often called simply “Boris” by the British, left what he had described as “best job in the world”after a series of scandals that triggered dozens of resignations in his close entourage at the beginning of July.

Since his forced resignation in July, he has been managing day-to-day business at Downing Street, until his replacement is appointed. After leaving Downing Street, Boris Johnson, who remains an MP, did not say anything about his future intentions.

Liz Truss says she wants to tackle “the energy crisis”

The handover is taking place at Balmoral, the monarch’s summer residence, and not at Buckingham Palace, London, as is traditional, due to the Queen’s mobility issues. Elected by 57% of some 142,000 voting members of the Conservative Party, against 43% for his rival, Rishi Sunak, the former finance minister, Mme Truss, 47, until now Foreign Secretary, is then due to return to London to address the British in the afternoon.

She promised on Monday to govern “like a curator”to put in place “a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy” and defeat Labor in the legislative elections, scheduled for 2025. Under pressure to help millions of Britons facing skyrocketing energy bills, she said she wanted to tackle to the energy crisis in [s’]taking care of people’s energy bills, but also by [s’]occupying long-term energy supply difficulties”.

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Government announcement expected

Third female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) and Theresa May (2016-2019), the announcement of her government on Tuesday will be a first test for Mme Truss, who campaigned far right.

His finance minister is expected to be Kwasi Kwarteng, 47, hitherto energy secretary. He is partisan, like Mme Truss, of a smaller state and a more deregulated economy.

Suella Braverman, 42, legal adviser to the government and initially candidate for the post of prime minister, is approached for the ministry of the interior. Very on the right, she will inherit the file of thousands of illegal migrants arriving on British shores, for whom the outgoing minister wanted to send them to Rwanda.

James Cleverly, 53, Minister of Education after having been Secretary of State for European Affairs, should move to Foreign Affairs. Ben Wallace, 52, would remain at the Ministry of Defence.

First announcements to try to stem the economic crisis are expected probably Thursday. After opposing it for most of her campaign, Liz Truss could announce an energy price freeze, with still unclear outlines, to help households and businesses, according to British media.

Mme Truss, who advocates controversial tax cuts to boost growth and a tighter government, will have a lot to do to bring together a divided Conservative Party, in power for twelve years. Many MPs preferred Rishi Sunak, who was more nuanced and considered better able to manage the crisis. Calls for unity grew, led by Boris Johnson, who called on the Tories to “Support her 100%”.

When announcing his victory, Truss paid tribute to his ” friend “. “Boris, you got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn [ancien leader travailliste]you deployed the vaccine [anti-Covid] and you stood up” to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine, she listed.

Read also: “It is clear that the environment is not in the priorities of the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss”

The World with AFP

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