Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced this Thursday that she will resign. Only 45 days after having taken office, this marks the shortest tenure of any British prime minister. Ms Truss’s departure followed weeks of political turmoil in which her ability to lead was questioned. Her proposals for tax cuts led to market meltdowns and a large devaluing of the British pound.
Standing outside 10 Downing Street Ms Truss stated, “"I recognise that I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party."
Her resignation was announced just days after Jeremy Hunt, new finance minister, reversed plans for tax cuts, going back on Ms. Truss’s free-market fiscal agenda which plunged the country into economic turmoil.
Ms Truss has said her successor would be elected by next week, meaning the second Tory leadership election in four months.
Candidates to succeed Ms. Truss include Rishi Sunak, who lost to Ms Truss in bid for the party leadership campaign this summer, Penny Mordaunt, leader of the lower house of Parliament, and defense secretary Ben Wallace. Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out. Former prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to run.
Calls for a general election have also been reignited by the resignation. Following a win by the Conservatives in 2019, the next general election is not due until 2024.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said, in a tweet, “[Ordinary people] are paying the price. The interests of the Tory party should concern no-one right now. A General Election is now a democratic imperative.”
Ms Sturgeon also commented on the fact Ms Truss was yet to have a formal meeting or phone call with her, “"just wait for whoever will become the fifth PM (so far) during my time as FM".
Labour party leader Keir Starmer also stated, “After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. We need a general election, now.”
Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, also called for a general election, "It's right that Liz Truss has resigned. But in truth, this entire Conservative government must go.
"The next Tory Leader will have no mandate to be prime minister. We need a general election now."