Mary Elizabeth Truss (born 26 July 1975) is a British politician. Who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party.
From September to October 2022. The shortest-serving prime minister in the history of the United Kingdom, she spent 50 days in office. Before she resigned amid a financial and political crisis.
She previously held Cabinet positions under Prime Ministers David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Including serving as foreign secretary from 2021 to 2022. She has been Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Norfolk since 2010.
Education and early career
Truss attended Merton College, Oxford. And was the president of Oxford University Liberal Democrats. In 1996, she joined the Conservative Party.
Worked at Shell and Cable & Wireless, and was deputy director of the think tank Reform. She had made two unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons;
Was elected as the MP for South West Norfolk at the 2010 UK general election. As a backbencher, she called for reform in several policy areas. Including childcare, mathematics education and the economy.
Foundations, Writings and more legislative assignments
She founded the Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs and wrote or co-wrote a number of papers and books, including After the Coalition (2011) and Britannia Unchained (2012).
Truss served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education from 2012 to 2014. Before Cameron appointed her Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the 2014 cabinet reshuffle.
Although she supported the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign; for the UK to remain in the European Union, she supported Brexit after the outcome of the 2016 referendum.
After May became Prime Minister in July 2016; she appointed Truss Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Making Truss the first female Lord Chancellor in the office’s thousand-year history.
Following the 2017 general election, Truss was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Following May’s resignation in 2019; Truss supported Johnson’s successful bid to become Conservative leader.
And Prime Minister, after which he appointed Truss as Secretary of State; for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.
She took on the additional role of Minister for Women and Equalities in September 2019. Promoted to Foreign Secretary in the 2021 cabinet reshuffle;
She co-chaired the EU–UK Partnership Council. Leading negotiations with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol. And was also involved in the UK’s response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In September 2022, Truss was elected Leader of the Conservative Party. Defeating Rishi Sunak, following Johnson’s resignation amid a government crisis.
Appointed Prime Minister
She was appointed prime minister by Elizabeth II; two days before the Queen’s death and oversaw the state funeral. The largest security operation in the UK.
Amid an ongoing cost of living crisis and an energy supply crisis; Truss’s government implemented the Energy Price Guarantee.
Limiting energy prices for households, businesses and public sector organizations. And announced large-scale borrowing and various tax cuts in a mini-budget.
UK’s financial stability
Which led to financial instability, was widely criticized and was largely reversed. On 20 October 2022, after only 45 days in office; Truss announced her intention to resign as Conservative party leader and Prime Minister.
Sunak was chosen as her successor . As leader of the party on 24 October and succeeded her as Prime Minister the following day.
Childhood, parents and siblings
Mary Elizabeth Truss was born on 26 July 1975 in Oxford, England. To John Truss and Priscilla Truss (née Grasby). She is a descendant of Charles Truss. After whom Truss’s Island on the River Thames is named.
Truss has three younger brothers, Chris, Patrick and Francis. From an early age, she has been known by her middle name. Her father is an emeritus professor of pure mathematics at the University of Leeds.
While her mother was a nurse and teacher. Truss has described her parents as being “to the left of Labour”; her mother was a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
When Truss later stood for election to Parliament as a Conservative; her mother agreed to campaign for her. While her father declined to do so.
Truss’s parents divorced in 2003; at the 2004 Leeds City Council election. Her mother unsuccessfully stood for election as a Liberal Democrat.
The family moved to Paisley, Renfrewshire. In Scotland when she was four years old, living there from 1979 to 1985; with Truss attending West Primary School.
She then attended Roundhay School, a comprehensive school in the Roundhay area of Leeds. Which she later said had “let down” children; a claim disputed by others.
Aged 12, she spent a year in Burnaby, British Columbia. Where she attended Parkcrest Elementary School; while her father taught at Simon Fraser University.
Truss has praised the coherent curriculum and the Canadian attitude. That it was “really good to be top of the class”; which she contrasts to her education at Roundhay School.
Truss was remembered by adolescent classmates as a studious girl with “geeky” friends. She reportedly had an interest in social issues such as homelessness.
She read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Merton College, Oxford, graduating in 1996. Truss was active in the Liberal Democrats.
She was president of Oxford University Liberal Democrats. And a member of the national executive committee of Liberal Democrat Youth and Students (LDYS).
Political parties and professional career
During her time as a Liberal Democrat, Truss supported the legalization of cannabis. And the abolition of the monarchy, and campaigned against the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
Truss joined the Conservative Party in 1996. From 1996 to 2000, Truss worked for Shell. During which time she qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) in 1999.
In 2000, Truss was employed by Cable & Wireless and rose to economic director before leaving in 2005. After losing her first two elections, Truss became the full-time deputy director of Reform in January 2008.
Advocacy and growth in politics
Where she advocated more rigorous academic standards in schools. A greater focus on tackling serious and organized crime. And urgent action to deal with Britain’s falling competitiveness.
She co-authored The Value of Mathematics, Fit for Purpose, A New Level, and; Back To Black: Budget 2009 Paper, among other reports.
Truss served as the chair of the Lewisham Deptford Conservative Association; from 1998 to 2000. Truss unsuccessfully contested the Greenwich London Borough Council elections in 1998. (for Vanbrugh ward) and;
2001 – 2010
2002 (in Blackheath Westcombe). On 4 May 2006, she was elected as a councilor for Eltham South in the 2006 Greenwich London Borough Council election.
Truss did not seek re-election to the council on 6 May 2010. With the 2010 UK general election being announced on 6 April 2010, the Dissolution of Parliament on 12 April 2010; and the last day to file MP nomination papers 20 April 2010.
At the 2001 UK general election, Truss stood for the constituency of Hemsworth in West Yorkshire. A safe seat for the Labour Party.
Increased the conservative vote
She came a distant second, but increased the Conservative vote by 3.2%. Before the 2005 UK general election, the parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley;
Sue Catling, was pressured to resign by the local Conservative Association. Whereupon Truss was selected to fight the seat. Which is also in West Yorkshire. Truss narrowly lost the election to the Labour Party incumbent.
Under David Cameron as Conservative leader, Truss was added to the party’s “A List”. In October 2009, she was selected for the South West Norfolk seat.
Won New York South West Norfolk seat
By members of the constituency Conservative Association. She won over 50% of the vote in the first round of the final against five other candidates.
Shortly after her selection, some members of the constituency association objected to Truss’s selection, due to her failing to declare a prior affair with the married Conservative MP Mark Field.
A motion was proposed to terminate Truss’s candidature. But this was defeated by 132 votes to 37 at a general meeting of the association’s members three weeks later.
6 May 2010
Following her election to the House of Commons on 6 May 2010; Truss campaigned for issues including the retention of the RAF Tornado base at RAF Marham in her constituency;
Over seven months she asked 13 questions in the Commons about RAF Marham. Secured a special debate on the subject, wrote dozens of letters to ministers.
And collected signatures on a petition which was delivered to Downing Street. From the start of her parliamentary career, she also lobbied for the dualling of the A11 west of Thetford.
Opposed selling off of forests
The work was completed in 2014. “With an eye on Thetford Forest, in her constituency, she spoke out against the proposal to sell off forests”. And played “a leading role” in preventing a waste incinerator being built at King’s Lynn.
In March 2011, Truss wrote a paper for the liberal think tank CentreForum. In which she argued for an end to bias against serious academic subjects; in the education system so that social mobility can be improved.
Truss wrote a further paper for the same think tank in May 2012. In which she argued for change in the structure of the childcare market in Britain.
2011 – 2012
In October 2011, Truss founded the Free Enterprise Group. Which has been supported by over 40 other Conservative MPs. In September 2011, together with four other members of the Free Enterprise Group;
She had co-authored After the Coalition, a book which sought to challenge the consensus, that Britain’s economic decline is inevitable. By arguing for the return of a more entrepreneurial and meritocratic culture.
Britannia Unchained was published on 13 September 2012 by the same authors as above. In Chapter 4, which is named “Work Ethic” (page 61), the book states:
View on British Work ethics
“Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor.
“During a BBC leadership debate in July 2022, Truss said that the authors had each written a different chapter of the book. And that Dominic Raab had written chapter 4 which contains those claims.
Raab later remarked that the authors had taken “collective responsibility” for the book. As part of a serialization in The Daily Telegraph, Truss wrote an article previewing Britannia Unchained.
Tax reforms efforts
The book was promoted by its publishers as the work of “the Conservative Party’s rising stars”. Truss has championed Britain following Germany’s lead in allowing people to have tax-free and less heavily regulated “mini-jobs”.
Since Truss published a paper on the policy for the Free Enterprise Group in February 2012; the policy has been examined by the Treasury as a policy to promote growth.
Truss has campaigned for improved teaching of more rigorous school subjects, especially mathematics. She noted in 2012 that only 20% of British students studied maths to 18.
Campaign for mathematics
And called for maths classes to be compulsory for all those in full-time education. Truss herself studied maths and further maths at A level.
She argued in 2011 that comprehensive school pupils were being “mis-sold” easy, low-value subjects to boost school results:
Comprehensive school pupils were six times as likely to take media studies at A-level as privately educated pupils. Truss also criticized the over-reliance on calculators to the detriment of mental arithmetic.
Member of the Justice Select Committee
From March 2011, Truss was a Member of the Justice Select Committee, remaining on the committee until her appointment as a government minister.
On 4 September 2012, Truss was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education, responsible for childcare and early learning;
Assessment, qualifications, curriculum reform, behavior and attendance, and school food review. In this role, she developed some of the policy areas that she had pursued as a backbencher.
Proposals to reform A-Levels
In January 2013, she announced proposals to reform A-Levels; by concentrating examinations at the end of two-year courses.
She sought to improve British standards in maths for fear that children are falling behind those in Asian countries. And led a fact-finding visit to schools and teacher-training centres in Shanghai in February 2014.
To see how children there have become the best in the world at maths. Truss also outlined plans to reform childcare in England. Which would overhaul childcare qualifications.
Interventions in care establishments
And increase the maximum number of children relative to adults in a care establishment. With the intention of widening the availability of childcare along with increasing pay and qualifications among staff.
The proposed reforms were broadly welcomed by some organizations, such as the charity 4Children. The Confederation of British Industry; and the College of West Anglia.
However, the proposals met opposition from others. The TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and the then Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg;
Columnist Polly Toynbee
Were among those criticizing the reforms and were echoed by some parents and childcare bodies. Such as the charity National Day Nurseries Association.
The columnist Polly Toynbee was highly critical of the minister’s plans. And challenged Truss to demonstrate how to care for two babies alongside four toddlers on her own.
Truss responded to Toynbee’s challenge by saying that being an early educator; was a very demanding job, requiring great and specialist expertise.
Relaxation of childcare ratios
For which she was not trained. In the event, aspects of the reforms relating to relaxation of childcare ratios were blocked by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who said:
“The response, not just from nurseries, but overwhelmingly from parent groups was they thought this was a bad idea.” In a 15 July 2014 cabinet reshuffle;
Truss was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs. Replacing Owen Paterson. In apparent contrast to her predecessor;
Truss declared that she fully believed that climate change is happening, and that “human beings have contributed to that”. She became a member of the Privy Council the next day.
At the Conservative Party conference in September 2014, Truss made a speech in which she said “We import two-thirds of our cheese, that is a disgrace”.
And “In December, I’ll be in Beijing, opening up new pork markets.” The awkwardness of her delivery led her to be widely mocked, and clips of the speech went viral.
10-year bee and pollinator strategy
In November 2014, Truss launched a new 10-year bee and pollinator strategy. To try to reverse the trend of falling bee populations; including a strategy to revive traditional meadows.
Which provide the most fertile habitat for pollinators. In July 2015, she approved the limited temporary lifting of an EU ban on the use of two neonicotinoid pesticides.
Enabling their use for 120 days on about 5% of England’s oilseed rape crop. To ward off the cabbage-stem flea beetle; campaigners in 2012 warned that pesticides were shown to harm bees;
Taxpayer subsidies for solar panels
By damaging their renowned ability to navigate home. Truss cut taxpayer subsidies for solar panels on agricultural land. As her view was that the land could be better used to grow crops; food and vegetables.
She described farming and food as “hotbeds of innovation” and promoted the production and export of British food. In March 2015, she was one of two cabinet ministers;
To vote against the government’s successful proposal to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, in what was technically a free vote.
Theresa May’s first ministry
On 14 July 2016, Truss was appointed as Secretary of State for Justice. And Lord Chancellor in Theresa May’s first ministry.
Truss became the first woman to hold either position and the first female Lord Chancellor in the thousand-year history of the office.
May’s decision to appoint her was criticized by the then Minister of State for Justice Lord Faulks. Who resigned from the government;
Clout to be able to stand up to the prime minister
Questioning whether Truss would have the clout to be able to stand up to the prime minister when necessary; On behalf of the judges.
Truss herself said, that he did not contact her before going public with his criticism. And she had never met or spoken to him.
In November 2016, Truss was further criticized, including by the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. And the Criminal Bar Association;
Three judges of the Divisional Court
For failing to support more robustly the judiciary and the principle of judicial independence. After three judges of the Divisional Court came under attack from politicians.
And from the Daily Mail for ruling against the government in R (Miller) v Secretary of State; for Exiting the European Union.
Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor; who had previously suggested that, like her immediate predecessors Chris Grayling and Michael Gove; Truss lacked the essential legal expertise.
That the constitution requires. Called for her to be sacked as Justice Secretary as her perceived inadequate response “signals to the judges that they have lost their constitutional protector”.
Truss denied she had failed to defend the judges. “An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of the rule of law. Vital to our constitution and freedoms”, she wrote.
“It is my duty as Lord Chancellor to defend that independence. I swore to do so under my oath of office. I take that very seriously, and I will always do so.”
Attack by The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail
She also said that the independent judiciary was robust enough to withstand attack by The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. However, in March 2017, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd;
Told the House of Lords constitution select committee that Truss was “completely and utterly wrong” to say she could not criticize the media and reiterated the importance of protecting judges.
Following a significant rise in prison violence incidents in 2015 and 2016. In November 2016 Truss announced a £1.3 billion investment programme in the prison service.
Recruitment of 2,500 additional prison officers
And the recruitment of 2,500 additional prison officers. Partly reversing the cuts made under the previous coalition government.
Following the 2017 UK general election; Truss was moved on 11 June to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Attending the cabinet but not a full member of it. In what was seen by some as a demotion.
Truss developed an enthusiasm for cultivating her presence on Twitter and Instagram. The Times described this as an unorthodox approach that had won her fans.
Launch of the free market campaign group, Freer
She was also closely involved in the launch of the free market campaign group, Freer. Some of her civil servants were reported as finding her tenure as chief secretary “exhausting”.
Because of her demanding work schedule and her habit of asking officials multiplication questions at random intervals. In June 2018, Truss gave a speech outlining her declared commitment to freedom; and individual liberty.
She criticized regulations that get in the way of people’s lives. And warned that raising taxes could see the Conservatives being “crushed” at the polls;
Criticized ministerial colleagues
In particular, she criticized ministerial colleagues. Who she said should realize “that it’s not macho just to demand more money. It’s much tougher to demand better value and challenge the blob of vested interests within your department”.
In 2019, Truss declared that she could be a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party; to succeed May. However, she ultimately elected not to stand, and instead endorsed Boris Johnson.
After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, Truss was tipped for promotion in return for her support during his leadership campaign.
Boris Johnson’s advisor
During which she advised Johnson on economic policy. And was the architect of plans to cut taxes for people earning over £50,000.
Consequently, it was thought she would be appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer or Business Secretary. But she was instead promoted to the position of Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.
Following the resignation of Amber Rudd, Truss was additionally appointed Minister for Women and Equalities. Twice in September 2019, Truss said that the Department for International Trade had “inadvertently”;
Allowed shipping of radio spares and an air coolers to Saudi Arabia in contravention of an order of the Court of Appeal, which found that;
UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in the war in Yemen were unlawful. While Truss apologized to a Commons committee on arms export controls;
Opposition MPs said her apology was insufficient and called for her to resign for breaking the law. On 19 March 2020, Truss introduced to Parliament the Trade Act 2021.
The legal framework for the UK
Which established the legal framework for the UK to conduct trade deals with nations around the world. On 7 July 2020, Truss announced the lifting of a year-long ban. On the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia.
She said that “there is not a clear risk that the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.
In August 2020, a number of meetings Truss held with the Institute of Economic Affairs. Were removed from the public record because they were recategorized;
As “personal discussions”, which the Labour Party said raised concerns about integrity, transparency and honesty in public office.
Truss undertook negotiations for a post-Brexit free trade agreement; between the UK and Japan. An agreement between the two countries was struck in September 2020.
Which Truss said would result in “99% of exports to Japan” being “tariff-free”. It was the first major trade deal the UK had signed since leaving the European Union and was hailed as a “historic moment” by Truss;
Truss’s trade deals
It mostly copied the existing trade deal the EU had agreed with Japan. This was followed by newly negotiated trade deals. With Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
In December 2020, Truss made a speech on equality policy. In which she stated that the UK focused too heavily on “fashionable” race. Sexuality, and gender issues at the expense of poverty and geographical disparity.
In the speech, she announced that the government and civil service; would no longer be receiving unconscious bias training.
Truss as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development affairs
On 15 September 2021 during a cabinet reshuffle; Johnson promoted Truss from International Trade Secretary to Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development affairs.
At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, she said that France had acted unacceptably during the Jersey fishing dispute.
In October 2021, she called on Russia to intervene in the Belarus–European Union border crisis. And said she wanted a “closer trading and investment relationship” with the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Cooperation with the Middle East
Which includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In November 2021, Truss and her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid announced a new decade-long deal. Aimed at stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In December 2021, she met her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Stockholm, urging Russia to seek peace in Ukraine in the context of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
On 5 November 2021, she called for a ceasefire in the Tigray War. Between Ethiopian rebel groups and the Ethiopian government led by Abiy Ahmed.
Comments on the Tigray War
Saying that “there is no military solution and that negotiations are needed. To avoid bloodshed and deliver lasting peace”.
In January 2022, the former Australian prime minister Paul Keating; who serves on the international board of the China Development Bank.
Accused Truss of making “demented” comments; about Chinese military aggression in the Pacific. Saying that “Britain suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation”.
British Government’s chief negotiator with the EU
Truss was appointed in December 2021 as the British Government’s chief negotiator with the EU. Following the resignation of Lord Frost. On 30 January 2022, she told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme;
That “we are supplying and offering extra support into our Baltic allies. Across the Black Sea, as well as supplying the Ukrainians with defensive weapons”.
The Russian diplomat Maria Zakharova commented, using social media; that the Baltic states are located on or near the Baltic Sea and not the Black Sea.
Truss’s trip to Ukraine
Which is 700 miles away from the Baltic. Truss’s scheduled trip to Ukraine was cancelled after she tested positive for COVID-19 on 31 January 2022.
On 6 February 2022, Truss warned that “China must respect the Falklands’ sovereignty” and defended the Falkland Islands. As “part of the British family” after China backed Argentina’s claim over islands.
On 10 February 2022, Truss again met Lavrov. In the context of tensions between Russia and the West over a build-up of Russian troops. Near the Russia–Ukraine border, talks between the two foreign ministers were described as “difficult”.
Lavrov versus Truss
Lavrov described the discussion as “turning out like the conversation of a mute; and a deaf person”. He dismissed “demands to remove Russian troops from Russian territory”.
As “regrettable” and asked Truss if she recognized Russia’s sovereignty; over the Voronezh and Rostov regions, two Russian provinces where Russian troops were deployed.
Later that day, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; prepared legislation to allow for more sanctions on Russian organizations and individuals.
Condemnation of Russia’s diplomacy
On 21 February 2022, Truss condemned Russia’s diplomatic recognition of two self-proclaimed separatist republics in the Donbas in Ukraine.
She also stated that the British government would announce new sanctions against Russia. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February;
Truss was asked in a BBC interview on 27 February; about a call from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for foreigners to join the newly formed International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.
And if she supported British volunteers joining, to which she responded: “Absolutely, if that is what they want to do”. The comments were criticized by some Conservative colleagues.
Including former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. Who said that while “the comments of the foreign secretary may be entirely honourable and understandable”;
People going to Ukraine to fight without formal licences from the UK government. Would be in breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870; and committing a criminal offence.
High nuclear alert on 27 February 2022
Following the Russian military’s being placed on high nuclear alert on 27 February; Russian officials said it was in response to Truss’s comments.
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson later stated that; British citizens should not travel to Ukraine to fight the Russians. And dismissed a claim by the Kremlin that comments from Truss, prompted the nuclear alert.
At the end of February, Truss called on the G7 countries to limit the import of oil and natural gas from Russia. She said the Russo-Ukrainian War could “last for years”. And that it could mark the “beginning of the end” for Putin.
Working with Saudi Arabia
In March, Truss said it was necessary to “work with all of our allies around the world”, including Saudi Arabia. So that the UK is no longer “dependent” on Russia for oil.
And natural gas. She wanted to push Russia’s economy “back into the Soviet era”. On 27 April 2022, Truss said that Western allies, including the UK;
Must “double down” and “keep going further and faster”. To “push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine”, including Crimea. In July 2022, she blamed Putin for the emerging global energy and food crises.
Conservative Party leadership election
On 10 July 2022, Truss announced her intention to run in the Conservative Party leadership election. To replace Boris Johnson. She pledged to cut taxes on day one if elected; and said she would “fight the election as a Conservative.
And govern as a Conservative”, adding that she would also take “immediate action to help people deal with the cost of living”.
She said she would cancel a planned rise in corporation tax. And reverse the recent increase in National Insurance rates, funded by delaying the date.
Chosen conservative party MPs
By which the national debt is planned to fall, as part of a “long-term plan to bring down the size of the state and the tax burden”.
On 20 July, Truss and former chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak; were chosen by Conservative Party MPs to be put forward to the membership for the final leadership vote.
She finished second in the final MPs ballot, receiving 113 votes to Sunak’s 137 votes. In the membership vote, it was announced on 5 September that 57.4% of ballots were for Truss, making her the new leader.
United Kingdom Premier
Following the resignation as Prime Minister of Boris Johnson, Truss, as the duly elected leader of the Conservatives, the majority party in Parliament;
Was received by Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle near Aberdeen, Scotland. The only Prime Minister not received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Truss was appointed the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In one of the Queen’s last official acts before her death two days later on 8 September 2022, at the age of 96.
Time as Premier
On 10 September 2022, Truss and other senior members of Parliament; pledged a new oath of allegiance to Charles III in a special session of Parliament.
This was not a requirement, as MPs swear an oath to the monarch “. And their heirs and successors” at the start of each Parliament.
Truss began appointing her cabinet and to other government positions on 6 September 2022. She appointed Thérèse Coffey, a close friend and ally. As Deputy Prime Minister and Health Secretary.
Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Truss appointed Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Cleverly as Foreign secretary and Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.
For the first time in British political history, no white men held positions in the four Great Offices of State. Namely Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary. This was the case for just 38 days before she dismissed Kwarteng and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt.
Sporadic resignations under Truss’ premiership
Braverman resigned as Home Secretary after 43 days. Due to what she said was an “honest mistake” involving sharing secure information on a private phone.
She was highly critical of Truss’s leadership in her resignation letter. Truss replaced her with Grant Shapps.
A YouGov poll ranked Truss as the least popular UK Prime Minister on record. Several other polls ranked her as extremely unpopular.
Shortly after her appointment, and in response to the cost of living crisis; Truss announced a two-year cap on the price per unit for domestic energy supplies.
Called the Energy Price Guarantee, which the government said would cap average household energy bills at £2,500 per year, while costing the state up to £100 billion.
On 23 September 2022, Kwarteng announced a mini-budget that proposed cutting taxation significantly. Abolishing the 45% top income tax rate.
Basic rate of income tax
Cutting the basic rate of income tax, cancelling rises in national insurance contributions. And corporation tax, abolishing the proposed Health and Social Care Levy. And cutting stamp duty, policies that were to be funded by borrowing.
The budget was poorly received by financial markets, blamed for a rapid fall in the value of the pound. And prompted a response from the Bank of England.
The budget was criticised by the International Monetary Fund. US President Joe Biden, the opposition Labour Party and many within Truss’s party.
Strong opposition to Truss’s national budget
Including senior politicians Michael Gove and Grant Shapps. It was highly unpopular with the public. And contributed to a large fall popularity of the Conservative party and for Truss personally.
After initially defending the mini-budget, Truss instructed Kwarteng to reverse the abolition of the 45% income tax additional rate on 3 October.
She later reversed the cut in corporation tax and sacked Kwarteng, replacing him with Jeremy Hunt on 14 October. Hunt reversed the remaining policies announced in the mini-budget.
Reversal of Truss’s key budget policies
With the exception of the cuts to national insurance contributions and the raising of stamp duty. Hunt also reduced the Energy Price Guarantee from two years to six months.
During her first three weeks as prime minister, Truss had “a speaking role before hundreds of world leaders” at the Queen’s funeral.
And held “a round of diplomatic meetings on the sideline” at the United Nations General Assembly on 21 September. As well as giving a speech in which she said that she wanted people to keep more of their earnings.
Resignation as UK Premier
On 20 October 2022 and her 45th day in office, Truss announced her resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. And her intention to resign as prime minister saying that “given the situation”;
She could not “deliver the mandate” on which she was elected by the Conservative Party. In the same announcement, Truss said that after speaking with the chairman of the 1922 Committee;
Sir Graham Brady, they both agreed that there would be a leadership election; “to be completed within the next week”. Her resignation as prime minister was accepted by Charles III; at an audience held at Buckingham Palace.
She was succeeded by Rishi Sunak as leader of the Conservative Party on 24 October. And advised Charles III to summon Sunak for an audience and for appointment as the new prime minister on 25 October.
She became the shortest-serving prime minister of the United Kingdom in history. The short length of her premiership was the subject of much ridicule.
Including a livestream of a head of lettuce comparing the shelf-life of the vegetable to her remaining tenure. On 24 October, Rishi Sunak was chosen to succeed Truss as leader of the Conservative Party.
House of Commons as a backbencher and personal life
And succeeded her as Prime Minister the following day. Truss said that she would remain in the House of Commons as a backbencher.
In 2000, Truss married Hugh O’Leary, a fellow accountant; the couple have two daughters. From 2004 until mid-2005, she had an extramarital affair with the married MP Mark Field.
Whom the Conservative Party had appointed as her political mentor. She remains married to O’Leary. In 2022, Truss said: “I share the values of the Christian faith and the Church of England, but I’m not a regular practising religious person.”