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Liz Truss Wins Race to 10 Downing Street: All About the Oxford Grad, Former Liberal Democrat to Lead UK

By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: September 05, 2022, 18:35 IST

New Delhi

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss: Conservative Party members have chosen Liz Truss as their leader and as UK’s next prime minister (Image: Reuters)

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss: Conservative Party members have chosen Liz Truss as their leader and as UK’s next prime minister (Image: Reuters)

Liz Truss, UK’s new PM, loved playing the role of Margaret Thatcher when she was a school student. Will she be able to emulate her at 10, Downing Street?

Liz Truss was chosen by the Conservative Party members as their leader and UK’s prime minister.

Liz Truss is the UK’s 56th prime minister and the third female prime minister to lead the country. The previous female prime ministers - Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May - were also from the Conservative Party.

Truss is the MP from South West Norfolk and has held the seat since 2010. She formerly served as the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom under the leadership of former prime minister Boris Johnson. She also served as the Minister for Women and Equalities.

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Truss defeated former chancellor to the exchequer and Richmond (Yorks) MP Rishi Sunak, who until weeks ago was a clear favourite.

Here is Truss’s victory in numbers:

  • The number of total votes polled - 172437
  • Voter turnout - 82.6%
  • Number of votes for Liz Truss - 81,326
  • Number of votes for Rishi Sunak - 60,399
  • Number of votes cancelled - 654
  • Percentage of votes in Truss’s favour - 57.4%

Schooling and Education

The 47-year-old was born in Oxford. Her father was a mathematics professor, and her mother, a nurse. Truss once described her parents as ‘left wing’.

Her family was not a part of active politics but went to rallies calling for nuclear disarmament when former PM Margaret Thatcher allowed US nuclear warheads to be installed at RAF Greenham Common, west of London.

She played the role of Margaret Thatcher at a mock school election and lost but remembers that her heart jumped with joy at the prospect of playing Thatcher. Truss went to school in Glasgow and Leeds.

Truss attended Oxford University where she studied philosophy, politics and economics and was active in student politics.

Daughters and Husband

Liz Truss married accountant Hugh O’Leary in 2000. She described Hugh as a stoic person while speaking to The Telegraph but said he was a very active member of the local Conservative Party unit.

She has two teenage daughters - Frances, 16, and Liberty, 13 - both of whom, according to The Telegraph, were part of their mother’s campaign to become the prime minister.

Political Career

Liz Truss’s political ambitions were visible from her time in Oxford University. She started off as a Liberal Democrat and at one point said she would abolish the monarchy in 1994.

She switched to the Conservative Party while studying at Oxford. She fought two elections in 2001 and 2005 from Hemsworth and Calder Valley, respectively and lost.

She won her first elections from Greenwich, south-east London, in 2006 where she was elected as a councillor. Conservative Party leader and former prime minister David Cameron in 2010 wanted Truss on his “A-list" of priority candidates and she contested polls from the South West Norfolk seat.

Two years after she became an MP, she was chosen for the role of the Education Minister in 2012. In 2014, she was promoted to the role of Environment Secretary.

She served as -

  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education) (2012-2014)
  • Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2014-2016)
  • Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (2016-2017)
  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2017-2019)
  • Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (2019-2021)
  • Minister for Women and Equalities (2019-present)
    Foreign Secretary (2021-present)

Brexit

On Brexit, Liz Truss changed stances. During her leadership race, experts felt that her previous stance on Brexit - she was a Remainer - would come back to bite her.

In 2016, Truss said that Brexit would be a ‘a triple tragedy’ for the UK but when the UK voted for Brexit she said it could change the way the UK worked.

Promises

Liz Truss has promised to not introduce any new taxes and she will also scrap the corporate tax which is slated to increase from 19% to 25% in 2023. Truss says she will boost innovation and enterprise by introducing low-tax and low-regulation zones.

She said she will spread the ‘Covid debt’ for a few more years to make up for the tax cuts. Truss will also suspend the ‘green levy’ which the UK uses to pay for social and green projects.

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first published:September 05, 2022, 17:17 IST
last updated:September 05, 2022, 18:35 IST