Liz Truss becomes shortest-serving prime minister in England’s history

Nazaaha Penick, News Reporter

The short-term appointment of the United Kingdom’s ex-prime minister Liz Truss has created controversy in Britain’s political atmosphere. Mary Elizabeth Truss announced her resignation on Oct. 20 after a meager 44 days in office. She is the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. 

Her goal remains transforming Britain into ‘a low-tax, high-wage, high-growth economy,’ though her decisions in a tax-cutting budget caused the opposite effect,” The Washington Post reported after Truss fired the administration’s finance minister.

According to NPR, the budget plan launched with chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng lowered income tax for the highest earners and cut some other taxes while increasing spending. This hurt the markets and the consequences caused “several U-turns after just a few days.” Kwarteng was removed from office before Truss’ resignation. 

An effect of Truss’ economic decision was a devaluation of the British pound. Due to the financial markets’ negative reaction to Britain’s economic plan, the pound — also known as “sterling” — hit a record low. 

CNBC reported that, “Sterling briefly fell 4 percent to an all-time low of $1.0382, continuing its sluggish trade in recent months as the U.S. dollar strengthens.”

Truss reflected on her failed economic policy in her resignation speech.

“We set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit,” Truss said. “I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”

The New York Times commented on the state of the Conservative Party during Truss’ rule, claiming that Truss lacked support from her own party members. 

The Conservative Party’s revolt was a response to the tax-cutting budget; the political atmosphere reported by The New York Times was a reaction to Truss’ decisions during her short rule.

Sophomore Danica Stosic spent her high school years at a private boarding school in Pangbourne, England. 

“During the time I was there, I heard people openly discuss politics when Boris Johnson came into power. People thought he was ridiculous,” Stosic said. “It was during the time of the pandemic and many people made fun of his prime minister choices.”

Stosic keeps in touch with her British peers and detailed their reactions to Liz Truss’ rule. She explained how the role of prime minister is often ridiculed, especially after the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

“When Liz Truss became the prime minister, people found her even more ridiculous than Boris Johnson due to her background,” Stosic said. “The country was in a crisis after Queen Elizabeth’s death, [so] to resign after all of that made things worse.”

Liz Truss continued to stay in a position of power until the country found her replacement. Her replacement was found at the end of the week after her resignation. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson briefly decided to run for candidacy before dropping out. Johnson was forced out of office on July 7 after many scandals

On Oct. 25, Rishi Sunak stepped up as the United Kingdom’s new prime minister. The Economist reported that, “Mr. Sunak’s twofold task is to repair Britain’s public finances and to patch up Britain’s broken trust in the Conservative Party.”

The next steps for the United Kingdom’s government will be to release an updated tax and spending budget in response to Truss’ previous economic decisions. A fiscal statement, which was initially set to be released on Oct. 31, has been delayed to Nov. 17