The Prime Minister of England , the conservative Liz Truss , announced Thursday her resignation just six weeks after coming to power, cornered by her own ranks, and her formation will have to choose a new leader next week.
The announcement of the resignation came just moments after her spokesman assured that the president had no plans to leave office and that she was still working with Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt to present an economic plan.
However, Truss met mid-morning with the deputy who heads the powerful 1922 Committee, in charge of the internal organization of the Conservative Party, and therefore, of a possible succession procedure.
The prime minister was facing rebellion among her ranks and since Wednesday, more than a dozen Conservative MPs had called for her resignation.
These are the moments that marked the shortest government in the history of the United Kingdom.
September 5: Liz Truss is elected
Two months after Johnson’s resignation, beset by multiple scandals, the government formation announced that its more than 172,000 members had elected Liz Truss, until then Minister of Foreign Affairs, to lead the formation and take the reins of the United Kingdom.
Truss, 47, won 81,326 votes to 60,399 over former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, a 42-year-old ex-bank billionaire grandson of Indian immigrants. The then chancellor became the third prime minister of the 47-year-old country, prevailing by 81,326 votes against 60,399 former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, a 42-year-old ex-bank billionaire grandson of Indian immigrants.
The next day, when commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II, Truss vowed to lead the UK out of the economic “storm” by becoming Britain’s new prime minister on Tuesday, ending Boris Johnson’s controversial three-year term. .
“As strong as this storm is, I know that the British people are stronger. Together we can overcome the storm,” he said in a brief speech in front of the famous door of number 10 Downing Street.
From that moment the opinion of the majority of the British on Truss was not very favorable. In a YouGov poll in late August, 52% of respondents thought Truss would make a “bad” or “terrible” prime minister. 43% stated that they do not trust it “at all” when it comes to responding to the problem of the growing cost of living, which has dominated the news for weeks.
September 8: the death of Elizabeth II
Just two days after taking office, Liz Truss had to deal with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who had been on the British throne for more than 70 years.
“We are devastated at the news that we have just received, the death of Her Majesty the Queen, which has shaken this nation and the entire world,” Truss said outside 10 Downing Street, just two days after the queen commissioned him to form a government in the country.
Truss described the monarch as “the rock on which modern England was built. This country has flourished under his reign.” The United Kingdom, he assured, is “the great nation that it is thanks to her”.
He said that Elizabeth II turned the Commonwealth into “a family of 56 countries from around the world. Queen Elizabeth II always gave us stability and strength, which we always need. It was the very spirit of the United Kingdom. A spirit that will endure.”
He praised the dignity with which the monarch always held office. “She was a woman admired and respected in the UK and around the world.” He highlighted his devotion to duty and service. “We will celebrate his extraordinary reign and service.”
Truss called on the British people to remain “in solidarity” with the new monarch, King Charles III, to whom, he said, “we owe our loyalty and devotion.” The United Kingdom, he concluded, thus begins “a new era in this country, just as His Majesty would have wanted. Long live the king”.
September 23: Truss presents his ambitious economic plan
After days of national mourning for the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Truss made his most ambitious government bid yet. The then Finance Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced on Friday, September 23, a historic tax cut and a huge increase in borrowing, an economic program that hit financial markets, with the pound and British government bonds in free fall.
Kwarteng has scrapped the country’s top income tax rate, scrapped plans to raise taxes on businesses and, for the first time, put a price on Prime Minister Liz Truss’s spending plans as she sought to double the rate of growth. UK economy.
Kwarteng’s announcement marked a sea change in British economic policy, harkening back to the Thatcherite and Reaganomic doctrines of the 1980s, which critics have derided as a return to “spill-over” economics.
“Our plan is to expand the supply side of the economy through tax incentives and reforms,” Kwarteng said. “This is how we will successfully compete with dynamic economies around the world. This is how we will turn the vicious cycle of stagnation into a virtuous cycle of growth.”
Truss announced home energy bill aids would cost £60bn over the next six months, according to Kwarteng. The tax cuts will cost another 4 billion pounds, he said.
The tax cuts – which included an immediate reduction in property purchase tax and the undoing of a planned rise in corporate tax – would cost another 45 billion pounds until 2026/27, Kwarteng said.
The government said raising the UK’s annual economic growth rate by one percentage point over five years – an achievement most economists consider unlikely – would increase tax revenue by about the same amount.
September 26: the pound falls to an all-time low
The pound sterling fell again to a record low against the dollar on Monday, September 26, after a statement from the Bank of England (BoE) disappointed the market, which had expected an emergency rate hike to prop up the ailing British currency.
In a chaotic day, sterling fell to a record low in Asian trade, then recovered some ground on expectations that the Bank of England would intervene to calm a market on edge since the government announced its fiscal plans.
However, the pound came under further selling pressure late in the day, after the Bank of England said it was closely monitoring markets following strong asset price movements, but stopped short of announcing a hike. of emergency fees.
The Bank of England said it “will not hesitate” to raise interest rates if necessary to meet its 2% inflation target.
“At the moment the pound sterling has pulled back after the (BoE) announcement… It is a statement that suggests that (Governor) Andrew Bailey is crossing his fingers that the pound will stabilize before the next meeting of the Committee of Monetary Policy, but that seems to be a long way off,” said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets.
Sterling has weakened more than 20% against the dollar this year and suffered its biggest monthly drop since November 2008.
On September 28, both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the rating agency Moody’s increased pressure on the British government to reverse Truss’s economic strategy.
The rare intervention in a G7 country by the IMF, the global lender of last resort, underscored the seriousness of the situation facing the UK.
The IMF said the proposals would add to a credibility crisis after the government cut taxes and increased borrowing just as the Bank of England raises interest rates to tackle rising inflation.
“Given elevated inflationary pressures in many countries, including the UK, we do not recommend large, untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture, as it is important that fiscal policy does not work against monetary policy,” an IMF spokesman said. .
Oct 3: Truss gives up his tax cut plan
Truss was forced on Oct. 3 to do a U-turn by reversing a cut to the top income tax rate, which helped spark turmoil in financial markets and a rebellion in her party.
Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said the decision to scrap the top tax rate cut had been made with “some humility and contrition” after lawmakers from his party reacted with alarm to a move favoring the rich in the midst of an economic recession.
“It’s amazing,” a Conservative lawmaker, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters. “The damage is already done. Now we also look incompetent.”
Oct 14: Truss fires her finance minister
British Prime Minister Liz Truss dismissed her finance minister and close ally Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday, October 14, and tried to save her own job by changing the controversial economic plan that plunged her into a political storm.
“We have to act now to reassure the markets,” Truss said, very tense, in a brief press conference in which she only answered four questions.
To do this, the conservative leader finally agreed to increase corporate tax, a measure of the previous government that she was determined to abolish.
But she declared herself “absolutely determined” to carry out the rest of her plan to “deliver stronger growth, a more prosperous UK and ride out the storm.”
Jeremy Hunt, a former foreign minister, was appointed as finance minister.
Wednesday 19: the Minister of the Interior resigns
British Prime Minister Liz Truss, on the tightrope after six weeks in power, suffered a new setback on Wednesday with the resignation of her Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.
Braverman, considered to be from the hard wing of the conservative party in power, has been interior minister for just 43 days and her departure from the Truss executive deepens the government crisis that began last month with the announcement of a disastrous economic package.
The head of the Interior alleged as a reason for her resignation that she had used her personal email account to send an official document to a colleague, an “error” and a “technical infraction” for which she accepted her “responsibility”, but also assured that she they were “seriously” concerned about the government’s policies.
“Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, acting like no one can see we’ve made them, and hoping things will magically work out for the best is not serious politics,” he wrote.
Grant Shapps, former Minister of Transport with Boris Johnson and support of Rishi Sunak (the other candidate to lead the Tories who lost to Truss) was appointed, hours later, as Braverman’s replacement.
Rejected by public opinion and questioned within her own party, the conservative leader assured on Wednesday in an appearance before the British parliament that she intends to remain in office.
“I am a fighter, not someone who gives up” and “I am willing to make difficult decisions,” she insisted, despite the humiliating abandonment of almost all the measures that made up her economic plan.
October 20: resignation
Although the same Thursday morning Truss refused to resign, the pressure could and more and the conservative leader presented her resignation around noon.
“Given the situation, I cannot fulfill the mandate for which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” said Truss, 47, who became the head of the British government who spent the least time in the executive.
A leadership election will be held next week to replace Truss, who is the shortest-term prime minister in British history. The record was held by George Canning, who served 119 days in office when he died in 1827.
Given the divisions in the party, there is no obvious candidate and any replacement would face a country likely headed for recession.
With information from AFP and Reuters