Liz Truss resigns as PM after just 45 days in Downing Street
Liz Truss has announced she is resigning as prime minister after just 45 days in office.
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are expected to stand in the leadership race, reports say, with a new prime minister set to be decided by the end of next week.
The Conservatives could be set for another bitter battle for the top job, six weeks after the last one ended, if the former prime minister faces the chancellor who played a pivotal role in his downfall. Mr Sunak emerged as an early bookies’ favourite.
Ms Truss’s brief stint as leader involved a mini-Budget that spooked the market, the sacking of her close ally and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, the resignation of home secretary Suella Braverman and chaos in Westminster around a confidence vote where there were allegations of senior Tories manhandling and bullying colleagues.
Just yesterday she told PMQs she is a “fighter not a quitter.”
Next prime minister odds: Who is the favorite to succeed Liz Truss?
Britain’s bookmakers are currently scrambling to determine the odds on our next prime minister after Liz Truss’s dramatic departure from Downing Street following what must surely be one of the most disastrous premiership’s in world history (Joe Sommerlad writes).
Betfair Exchange has been quickest on the draw, offering odds of 11/10 on Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor defeated in this summer’s leadership contest to succeed Boris Johnson but whose dire warnings about Ms Truss’s “fairy tale” tax slashing agenda were more than borne out by subsequent events.
Ms Mordaunt is next favourite on 7/2, defence secretary Ben Wallace is 8/1, former PM’s Mr Johnson and Theresa May aree tipped at 13/1 and 16/1 respectively to make unlikely comebacks, followed by Michael Gove on 31/1, new-minted home secretary Grant Shapps on 35/1, the just-ousted Ms Braverman on 55/1, Tom Tugendhat on 75/1, Dominic Raab on 80/1, foreign secretary James Cleverly on 85/1, “Brexit hard man” Steve Baker on 90/120 and ex-health secretary Sajid Javid on 120/1.
Who is the favorite to succeed Liz Truss?
Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Ben Wallace all tipped for top job
Liam James20 October 2022 16:49
Tory party has ‘one last chance’ says West Midlands mayor
Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands mayor, said the Tory party now had “one last chance to pull itself together” after Liz Truss’s resignation.
In a statement, he said: “This is a complete mess, and I know people across the West Midlands feel utterly let down at a time when they face immense pressures in their daily lives.
“We are all crying out for strong and consistent leadership, and I dearly hoped we’d get it.
“But now the party has one last chance to pull itself together, unite behind a new leader, and deliver what it was elected to do.”
Mr Street backed Ms Truss for leader in the contest that concluded on 5 September. He told the Birmingham Mail he did not regret backing her.
Liam James20 October 2022 16:41
The Independent launches a petition calling for a general election
It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people.
The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election.
And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.
Editorial20 October 2022 16:34
Tory leadership rules to be announced soon
The rules for the coming Tory leadership race should be announced around 5.30, the FT’s Whitehall editor reports.
Rules for the contest to replace Liz Truss as prime minister must be agreed by the chair of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, and the Conservative Party board.
In her resignation speech, Ms Truss said Sir Graham told her the race would be over, with a new prime minister in No 10 by the end of next week.
Liam James20 October 2022 16:29
Lettuce in wig outlasts Liz Truss premiership as PM’s political career wilts
It was the political battle everyone was talking about. Now, we have a victor: the lettuce won it (Colin Drury writes).
Liz Truss has resigned as prime minister – and, in doing so, admitted defeat to a 60p salad leaf.
A live video stream asking if a slowly wilting Iceberg would last longer than the embattled Tory leader’s stint as prime minister has been an unexpected hit over the last week.
Now, while the salad mainstay has undoubtedly experienced some decay, its seven-day shelf life has given it the staying power required to see off Ms Truss’s troubled premiership.
Lettuce in wig outlasts Liz Truss premiership as PM’s political career wilts
Outgoing prime minister declines to congratulate Iceberg in brief resignation speech
Liam James20 October 2022 16:22
‘U shud run babe’: Joe Lycett ‘stands by’ Liz Truss
Joe Lycett has joked that Liz Truss should run in next week’s leadership election, after she stood down as prime minister following just six weeks in office (Ellie Harrison writes).
In a speech outside Downing Street today, Ms Truss announced she was resigning, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, Mr Lycett posted: “@trussliz OMG just heard there’s a leadership election nxt week????? u shud run babe youd be perfect!!!”
Mr Lycett has been making headlines in recent weeks for his frequent ridiculing of Truss.
Joe Lycett encourages ‘babe’ Liz Truss to run in Tory leadership election next week
Comedian has been taking aim at Truss for weeks as the Tory party has been in utter chaos
Liam James20 October 2022 16:15
Good riddance to climate wrecker Truss – Greenpeace
Environmental campaigners have welcomed Liz Truss’s resignation, after policies from her short time in office threatened to expand fossil fuel production and rip up legal protections for nature.
Rebecca Newsom, Head of Politics at Greenpeace UK, said: “Liz Truss has gone and her climate-wrecking, nature-harming, economy-busting agenda should go with her. The country has given this failed ideology a go, and no one liked it – not the market, not the people, not even Truss’s own party.
“This sorry saga has shown us that a prime minister who makes the rich richer, puts fossil fuel profits before people’s well-being, backs fracking, and scraps nature protections will not last long in office.”
The outgoing prime minister sought to lift a ban on fracking, as well as removing environmental obligations for developers in her touted Investment Zones.
“It’s fitting that her government’s last ruinous act was to force their own MPs to break a manifesto commitment by voting for an unpopular, unproven fracking industry that has no future. The lesson for whoever succeeds Liz Truss as prime minister, and the government as a whole, couldn’t be clearer,” Ms Newsom said.
Liam James20 October 2022 16:14
More Tories back Boris Johnson bid
Several Tory MPs have now come out in favour of Boris Johnson to return as prime minister.
The argument has emerged that Mr Johnson would restore democratic legitimacy as he can claim the backing of the public from his landslide in 2019.
We told you about James Duddridge and Brendan Clarke-Smith in an earlier post [15.49]. Paul Bristow said he would back Mr Johnson, citing strong support from his constituents in Peterborough. Michael Fabricant said: “He’s a winner and the only MP with legitimacy having been overwhelmingly elected by the country.”
Nadine Dorries, tweeting before Ms Truss resigned, said: “One person was elected by the British public with a manifesto and a mandate until January ‘25.”
“MPs must demand return of Boris Johnson”
Marco Longhi, MP for Dudley, said: “Come back Boss. The country needs you.” A similar message to Mr Duddridge.
Worth noting that three of the six listed here, Mr Clarke-Smith, Mr Bristow and Mr Duddridge, all entered parliament in 2019 and may feel they owe their careers to Mr Johnson. Ms Dorries was a hyper-loyal member of Mr Johnson’s cabinet.
Liam James20 October 2022 16:07
Tory MP threatens defection if Boris Johnson wins
Some Tory MPs are excited by the prospect of a return to power by Boris Johnson [see previous post].
Others are not. The Guardian’s deputy political editor Jessica Elgot tweeted that a Tory MP said they would “immediately defect” to Labour if Mr Johnson were to win the coming Tory leadership race in which he is expected to stand.
Liam James20 October 2022 15:57
Tory MPs come out for Johnson
We are already seeing Conservatives expressing their support for Boris Johnson to succeed Liz Truss, after reports that the former prime minister is expected to stand in the race for No 10.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, the MP for Bassetlaw since 2019 who was made a PPS after dozens of Mr Johnson’s ministers resigned, said he wanted to see the ex-leader back in charge.
ITV quoted Mr Clarke-Smith: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s time for him to return.”
James Dudderidge, the minister for international trade, tweeted: “I hope you enjoyed your holiday boss. Time to come back. Few issues at the office that need addressing.”
Liam James20 October 2022 15:49