Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his customary morning speech outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Downing Street. He then went to Balmoral in Scotland, where the Queen spends the summer. He arrived there after noon Central European time, in a few tens of minutes everything was taken care of and the ex-prime minister left again.
For safety reasons, Truss traveled on another plane, which was slightly delayed due to fog over Aberdeen Airport. She arrived at the castle before half past two Central European Time, after which the queen formally asked her if she was ready to form a cabinet. At about 1:45 p.m., Truss became the third woman to head the British government.
Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May headed the cabinet before her. Queen Elizabeth has already undergone this ceremony fourteen times, Truss is Her Majesty’s fifteenth Prime Minister; Elizabeth II succeeded Winston Churchill to the throne.
Johnson called for an end to politicking and support for Truss. According to him, Britain will emerge stronger from the crisis. By his side when he left 10 Downing Street, his wife Carrie was not missing in a distinctive pink overall, she also accompanied her husband on a quick trip to Scotland. Within a few minutes of the resignation, Johnson’s Twitter profile already reflected the new reality, where “former prime minister” already stands – and the “10 Downing Street” profile went to Truss.
Truss was also accompanied to the Queen by her husband Hugh O’Leary.
An unusual place
In Britain, since the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century, it has been customary for new prime ministers to be inaugurated at Buckingham Palace. The change of venue has therefore sparked speculation in Britain about the state of health of the 96-year-old monarch, who has canceled several public events in recent months. He reportedly has mobility issues. The pictures with the new Prime Minister are the first photos of the Queen that the public can see after almost two months.
The Queen received the two statesmen in the green living room, which is normally used more for the relaxation of the royal family than for receiving political guests. The Daily Express said the room is a symbol of prosperity and freshness, and the furniture and carpet have a soothing feel.
Truss is due to make a speech in Downing Street after returning from Scotland at 16:15 local time (17:15 CEST). According to Sky News, it is possible that her speech will take place inside the prime minister’s residence. The weather forecast calls for heavy rain in the afternoon.
The new head of the Conservative Party should then appoint her cabinet. Given the pressing issues facing the government, it will have to act quickly to fill top posts, news website iNews reported. According to the website, Truss is believed to have already formed her government. But its members must officially accept the positions before Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, which Trussová will lead for the first time.
There is still little information about the posts. According to the Sky News server, Therese Coffey, a close ally of Truss, is to be Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health. Nadine Dorries does not want to continue as head of the Ministry of Culture, even though Trussová asked her to do so.
The Independent’s political editor Andrew Woodcock said in an interview with the BBC that a new British prime minister normally has time to enjoy a short period of advocacy after his inauguration. But according to him, Trussová will go “straight into the hurricane”. “People are facing poverty, businesses are at risk of collapse. We need solutions very, very quickly,” Woodcock said.
Truss defeated Rishi Sunak in an internal party vote on Monday to be elected leader of the Conservative Party. According to Reuters, Truss won by a smaller margin than any of her predecessors, suggesting she will have to make a big effort to unite a ruling party that is deeply divided and trailing in opinion polls.
Britain is plagued by a crisis of rising living costs and energy prices that other European countries are also facing, partly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The public and the opposition expect Truss to deliver solutions to these problems. In a brief speech after the results were announced on Monday, she said she would push through a “bold plan to cut taxes”which will bring growth to the British economy and solve the energy price crisis.
According to Sky News, it will cap energy prices and keep subsidies. It will cost the state coffers an estimated 100 billion pounds (CZK 2.8 trillion), for which they will borrow – they do not intend to raise taxes.