Liz Truss the UK Prime Minister has resigned today and will step down after a week-long emergency contest to find her successor, she has announced outside Downing Street.
This followed a turbulent 45 days in office during which Truss’s mini-budget crashed the markets, she lost two key ministers and lost the confidence of almost all her own MPs.
She made her statement after meeting Sir. Graham Brady (Chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory Backbenchers) at Downing Street, followed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Thérèse Coffey, and the Party Chairman, Jake Berry.
Truss in a statement delivered in Downing Street said, “she had entered office with a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit”.
She went on: “I recognise that, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative party.
“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week. This will ensure that we remain to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security. I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen.”
Sir. Brady told reporters, a new leader will be chosen over the course of the next week, implying that the party membership could have a role in the election. The 1922 executive and the Conservative party board will meet at 4pm to decide how the election will proceed – but it could include requiring candidates to meet a high threshold of MP nominations.
Brady said they hoped a new leader would be in place by 28 October, allowing the scheduled fiscal event to take place on 31 October – just three days after the new prime minister is in place.
Both the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt and the former cabinet minister Michael Gove have ruled themselves out of standing for leadership. The former chancellor Rishi Sunak, Kemi Badenoch, (international trade secretary), Penny Mordaunt (leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council), Grant Shapps (Home Secretary) and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are possible candidates expected to throw their hats in the ring.
Opposition parties have called for an immediate general election, saying the Conservatives had no mandate to govern.