After Queen Elizabeth II. asked the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party, Liz Truss, to become prime minister and form a new government, the new head of government gave her first speech in the new role outside the British prime minister’s residence in Downing Street.
She promised the British that, as Prime Minister, she would support economic growth by cutting taxes and that she would take measures against rising energy prices this week. She also pledged to begin addressing the crisis of an overburdened public health service.
She said she would focus on tackling the issues that are “holding back” Britain. “I am convinced that together we can weather the storm. We can rebuild our economy and become the modern great Britain that I know we can be,” Truss said.
Shortly after that, she headed to the British Parliament and set about forming a government. In the meantime, she managed to remove several ministers from the government who sided with her rival, ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, in the race for the prime minister’s seat.
“Looks like no one who supported Rishi Sunak will be in the government by the end of tonight,” commented a correspondent of the British daily on the events in London Looking possible that by the end of tonight there will be no-one who backed Rishi Sunak in cabinet.
For comparison, Johnson's first cabinet had one minister who backed Jeremy Hunt (Amber Rudd) and three who had stayed neutral during the membership round
Looking possible that by the end of tonight there will be no-one who backed Rishi Sunak in cabinet.
The new British Prime Minister from the perspective of Teodor Marjanovič
“Liz Truss can be characterized in any way, except as a clearly rising star in the political sky or as a political reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher – even though the newly minted British Prime Minister styled herself in the role of ‘Iron Lady’ during the two months of the intra-party campaign, often unacknowledged,” she writes in a comment for Seznam News Teodor Marjanovič.
The first to appear was the news that Dominic Raab, who until now worked at the British Ministry of Justice and supported Sunak in the fight for the post of prime minister, will no longer be a member of the new government. He is to be replaced in the ministry by Brandon Lewis, who was Northern Ireland minister until July.
Raab announced on Twitter that he was leaving the posts of justice minister and deputy prime minister and returning to the backbenches. The Guardian points out that it is not clear from his post whether he resigned or was fired. However, he points out that this distinction is usually meaningless, as ministers who feel that they no longer have their place in the government often resign themselves.
Shortly after that, the current Transport Minister Grant Shapps, Health Minister Steve Barclay and Environment Minister George Eustice also announced their resignations. Like Raab, they sided with Rishi Sunak during the prime ministerial race.
The current Minister for Housing and Local Government, Greg Clark, subsequently joined the mass departure from the government, who is distanced from Truss in particular by a different view of the country’s departure from the European Union.
At the same time, Clark found himself in the current government without expecting it himself. He first worked in Theresa May’s cabinet for three years. When Boris Johnson came to power, Clark lost his post. He made a surprise return to the Cabinet this July after Johnson sacked his predecessor Michael Gove shortly before announcing his resignation and needed a replacement.
Meanwhile, Downing Street has also declassified the names of some of the new cabinet members. According to the British media, the appointment of most of them is not surprising and could have been expected in advance.
The BBC notes that Truss has appointed a very diverse cabinet. Not one of the four most important positions in the country – the office of Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – will not be held by a white man.
Truss installed her close friend Thérèse Coffey, who had previously been Labor Minister, as Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. For the first time ever, the United Kingdom will be ruled by a female prime minister alongside a deputy prime minister, The Guardian points out.
Kwasi Kwarteng, who had previously been Minister of Trade, was promoted to Minister of Finance, succeeding Nadhim Zahawi in office. Like Coffey, Kwarteng is a close friend of Liz Truss.
Truss, who led the Foreign Office during the government of her predecessor Boris Johnson, will be replaced at the head of this office by the current education minister, James Cleverly.
Cleverly has only been education minister since July, when he replaced Michelle Donelan, who resigned in protest against former prime minister Boris Johnson. Before that, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The next reinforcement of the British government will be Suella Braverman, who until now worked in the position of Attorney General and, like Truss, she also participated in the race for the prime minister’s seat. As British media have pointed out, Braverman has no experience of leading a major government department and her appointment is seen in part as a reward for her decision to back Truss after she herself dropped out of the race for prime minister.
Footage from Boris Johnson’s farewell
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a farewell speech in Downing Street. He said his tenure had “unexpectedly turned into a relay race – halfway through they changed the rules”. At the same time, he called for the support of his successor.
Braverman replaces Priti Patel, who announced her resignation on Monday, as interior minister. She said she would step down once Truss officially became prime minister.
Truss appointed Wendy Morton as chief whip. A Whip is an MP who ensures that party members vote in the House according to party interests. Morton thus became the first woman to hold this position in a Conservative cabinet.
Some current ministers will continue to hold their posts. Ben Wallace will be in charge of the Ministry of Defense in the future. He retained his position as one of the few, earning praise from the public and fellow party members for his actions in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In addition, despite his popularity, he did not participate in the internal party race for the post of Conservative Party leader and very early on supported Truss.