Outgoing British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday wished her successor Rishi Sunak “every success” in her final speech on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street in London, before she made her way to Buckingham Palace to formally tender her resignation to King Charles III. Accompanied by her husband Hugh O’Leary and two daughters, Britain’s shortest-serving Prime Minister ended her tenure by trying to strike an optimistic tone as she said that brighter days lie ahead.
Her audience with the monarch will be followed immediately by Sunak’s meeting, which will be the moment he becomes the new British Prime Minister. “I wish Rishi Sunak every success for the good of our country,” said Truss. “Our country continues to battle through a storm. But I believe in Britain. I believe in the British people and I know that brighter days lie ahead,” she said. The 47-year-old Conservative Party member of Parliament, who said she now plans to continue to serve her constituents of South West Norfolk in central England from the backbenches of Parliament, seemed to defend her tax-cutting policies that ultimately led to her early departure as Prime Minister.
“I am more convinced than ever that we need to be bold and confront the challenges that we face. As the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, it’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare is because we do not dare that they are difficult,” she said. Earlier, she chaired her last Cabinet meeting during which she reportedly spoke of “significant achievements” in the short time of just 45 days her premiership was in place. She said the government ensured the country was able to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and to welcome His Majesty King Charles III as the new monarch, a “vital moment” in the history of the country.
A Downing Street readout of the meeting said the outgoing Prime Minister said the government acted to immediately protect the public and businesses from unsustainably high energy bills – bringing in the Energy Price Guarantee to save the typical household around GBP 700 this winter. She highlighted that her government also stuck to its pledge to scrap the rise in national insurance tax and demonstrated its “steadfast commitment” to supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
The start of the Liz Truss premiership was dominated by the death of the Queen, with her attending tribute events across the country to support the new King and giving a reading at the monarch’s funeral. But her time in office at Downing Street was defined by her tax controversial mini-budget, which sent markets into turmoil and the pound dropping at record rates.
Truss tried to regain her authority by firing her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and replacing him with Jeremy Hunt, who within days had reversed nearly all her policies. After the resignation of her home secretary, Indian-origin Suella Braverman, last Wednesday and chaos in Parliament over a vote showed she had lost her colleagues’ support, she ultimately announced her resignation last Thursday.