Name? Lizz Truss
Westphalian identity? British
Why is she in the news? Former foreign secretary Lizz Truss has been appointed leader of the British Conservative Party this week, and will replace former prime minister Boris Johnson. After eight weeks, tory politicians were whittled down one by one; Truss emerged victorious, securing 57% of the vote against former chancellor Rishi Sunak. Truss will travel to Balmoral today for the handover of the keys to the office.
Why do we care? Truss has lofty ambitions during a difficult time for the UK. In a post-Brexit landscape and besieged by a cost-of-living crisis that has forced industrial action and transport chaos, the new PM has been reserved about her plan of action. Her campaign promises include the cancellation of corporate tax increases, and increased healthcare spending, as well as promising to solve rocketing energy prices within her first week of office. However, after 12 years of tory leadership were unfulfilled promises have been commonplace, the British public is bracing for discontent.
Why should you care? Before this promotion, Truss was instrumental in the creation of legal frameworks to help the UK sign trade deals following Brexit. Whilst voting ‘remain’ and advocating the need for access to Europe initially, she has since adopted a staunch eurosceptic posture in an effort to appease her party, continuing her predecessor’s tradition of anti-Europe sentiment. You should care 4/10 about Prime Minister Johnson’s legacy at work.
Who else cares? The European Commission’s Vice President, Maroš Šfečovič. During Johnson’s premiership, tension was rife between the EU and the UK’s Brexit negotiators, specifically over the Northern Ireland Protocol . Hostilities will be revived by Truss’ victory, as she reaffirms the need to limit European involvement in the UK.
Any further comments? The Tory leadership battle is finally over, with a somewhat inconsequential result. Regardless of who won, the challenges facing the conservative party will now be twofold, as the party polarises over the result.