September 23, 2022

Liz Truss becomes the new British Prime Minister | Q control policy

LONDON (AP) — Liz Truss became Britain’s prime minister on Tuesday and immediately faced the daunting task ahead amid mounting pressure to rein in soaring prices, ease labor unrest and fix a system of healthcare burdened by long waiting lists and staff shortages.

At the top of his inbox is the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which threatens to drive energy bills to unaffordable levels, shutting down businesses and leaving the poorest people of the country tremble in icy houses this winter.

Truss, who declined to elaborate on his energy strategy during the two-month campaign to succeed Boris Johnson, now plans to cap energy bills at a cost to taxpayers of up to 100 billion pounds ($116 billion), British media reported on Tuesday. She is expected to unveil her plan on Thursday.

‘You need to be aware of the cost of living crisis in England, which is really quite serious at the moment,’ Rebecca Macdougal, 55, who works in law enforcement, told the Houses of Parliament .

“She makes promises for it, because she says she will deliver, deliver, deliver. But we will hopefully see announcements in the coming weeks that will help the normal worker.

Truss, 47, took office on Tuesday afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland when Queen Elizabeth II formally asked him to form a new government in a carefully choreographed ceremony dictated by centuries of tradition. Johnson, who announced his intention to step down two months ago, formally stepped down during his own audience with the Queen shortly before.

It was the first time in the Queen’s 70-year reign that the handover took place at Balmoral, rather than Buckingham Palace in London. The ceremony was moved to Scotland to provide certainty on the timing, as the 96-year-old Queen faced travel issues that forced palace officials to make decisions about her day-to-day trip.

Truss became Prime Minister a day after the ruling Conservative Party chose her as leader in an election in which the party’s 172,000 paying members were the only voters. As party leader, Truss automatically became Prime Minister without the need for a general election as the Conservatives still have a majority in the House of Commons.

But as the national leader selected by less than 0.5% of British adults, Truss is under pressure to show quick results.

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Ed Davey called for a snap election in October on Tuesday – something Truss and the Conservative Party are highly unlikely to do as the Tories are plummeting in the polls.

“I listened to Liz Truss during the Tory leadership (campaign) and was looking for a plan to help people with their skyrocketing energy bills, with the NHS crisis and so on, and I didn’t heard no plan at all,” he said. the BBC. “Given that people are really worried, given that people are losing sleep over their energy bills, companies are not investing because of the crisis, I think that’s really wrong.”

Johnson took note of the tensions facing Britain as he left the prime minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street for the last time, saying his policy had left the government with the economic strength to help people overcoming the energy crisis.

Still colorful, he barely concealed his bitterness at being expelled.

“I’m like one of those booster rockets that served its purpose,” Johnson said. “I will now gently re-enter the atmosphere and crash invisibly into a remote, dark corner of the Pacific.”

Many observers expect Johnson to attempt a political comeback, although he has been cryptic about his plans. Instead, the man who studied classics at Oxford University supported Truss and compared himself to Cincinnatus, the Roman dictator who relinquished power and returned to his farm to live in peace.

“Like Cincinnatus, I’m going back to my plow,” he said.

Johnson, 58, became prime minister three years ago after his predecessor, Theresa May, failed to engineer Britain’s departure from the European Union. Johnson went on to win an 80-seat majority in parliament with a promise to “get Brexit done”.

But he was forced out of office by a series of scandals that culminated in the resignation of dozens of Cabinet secretaries and lower-level officials in early July. This paved the way for Truss, a former accountant who was first elected to the House of Commons in 2010.

Many people in Britain are still learning about their new leader.

Unlike Johnson, who achieved media stardom long before becoming Prime Minister, Truss quietly rose through the Conservative ranks before being appointed Foreign Secretary, one of the highest Cabinet posts there are. barely a year.

She is due to deliver her first speech as Prime Minister on Tuesday afternoon outside 10 Downing Street.

Truss is under pressure to explain how it plans to help consumers pay household energy bills which are expected to average 3,500 pounds ($4,000) a year – triple the cost of a year ago – October 1 unless she intervenes.

Rising food and energy prices, driven by the invasion of Ukraine and the aftershocks of COVID-19 and Brexit, propelled UK inflation above 10% for the first time in four decades. The Bank of England predicts that it will reach 13.3% in October and that the United Kingdom will enter a prolonged recession by the end of the year.

Train drivers, port staff, garbage collectors, postal workers and lawyers have all staged strikes to demand pay rises keep pace with inflation, and millions more, from teachers to nurses, could leave in the next few months.

Truss, a low-tax, small-government conservative who admires Margaret Thatcher, says her priority is lowering taxes and reducing regulations to fuel economic growth. Critics say it will further fuel inflation while not solving the cost of living crisis. Uncertainty rattled currency markets, sending the pound plummeting below $1.14 on Monday, its lowest level since the 1980s.

In theory, Truss has time to make her mark: she doesn’t have to call a national election until the end of 2024. But opinion polls already give the main opposition party, Labor, a lead constant, and the more the economy deteriorates, the greater the pressure will be. growing up.

As well as Britain’s domestic problems, Truss and his new cabinet will also face multiple foreign policy crises, including the war in Ukraine and the frosty post-Brexit relationship with the EU.

Truss, as foreign minister, was a strong supporter of Ukrainian resistance to Russia. She said her first phone call with a world leader would be with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Truss also pledged to increase UK defense spending to 3% of gross domestic product from just over 2% – another costly promise.

But she is likely to have much colder conversations with EU leaders, who have been annoyed by her hardline stance as foreign secretary in trade rules talks for Northern Ireland, an unresolved issue. Brexit which has deteriorated relations between London and Brussels. With the UK threatening to breach the legally binding divorce treaty and the EU taking legal action in response, the dispute could escalate into a trade war.

“I think she has an important and challenging job ahead of her,” said Robert Conway, 71, an electronics maker, in London. “I hope she brings that, a new team, a new start, but it will be hard work.”

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Susie Blann, Sylvia Hui and Kwiyeon Ha contributed to this story.