Thursday (October 20th): Truss was the British PM!

Elizabeth Truss – UK Parliament official portraits 2017 / Chris McAndrew

Name? Liz Truss

Westphalian identity? British

Age? 47

Why is she in the news? 44 Days after Liz Truss was appointed Prime Minister, she announced her resignation this morning, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. The Tory Party expects to conclude a leadership election by Friday 28 October with a new PM in place in time for the 31 October fiscal statement. Potential candidates include Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, and Jeremy Hunt.

Why do we care? The final nail in the PM’s coffin was the chaotic scenes yesterday, in which a vote on a Labour motion over fracking led to mayhem in the voting lobbies. Other nails include Truss and Kwateng’s disastrous tax cut proposal which was scrapped earlier this week and the resignation of Interior Minister Suella Braverman over internal differences and a technicality. 

Why should you care? The incompetence displayed by Truss and her cabinet during the past 6 weeks is astonishing. Anything but new general elections would undermine democracy in this case. Given the current approval ratings of the Tory Party, however, the party leadership will do anything to cling to power until then. This leads to the erosion of British democratic institutions and the United Kingdom overall. Now more than ever you should care 9/10 about good governance. 

Who else cares? The Russian Foreign Ministry could not hold back its Schadenfreude over Truss’ departure, commenting that “Britain has never known such a disgrace of a prime minister”. Relations between Russia and the U.K., already strained due to a litany of issues, have deteriorated even further due to the war in Ukraine.

Any further comments? Truss could not even outlast a lettuce head that the Daily Star put up a few days ago as a joke. What a sad but fitting analogy for the PM’s tenure. This must be this British humour everyone talks about, just like the potential return of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator