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by Louise Wilson
20 October 2022
Liz Truss resigns as prime minister

Truss lasted just 45 days in office | Credit: Alamy

Liz Truss resigns as prime minister

Liz Truss has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party and therefore as Prime Minister.

She has been in office for just 45 days.

A leadership election is set to take place within the next seven days to replace her.

In a statement lasting a matter of minutes outside of Downing Street, the outgoing Prime Minister said her government had “delivered on energy bills and on cutting National Insurance”.

But she added: “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.

“I have therefore spoke to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”

Truss met with 1922 chair Graham Brady earlier to agree the truncated timetable for the leadership race.

She will remain as Prime Minister in the interim.

Speaking shortly after the statement, Brady confirmed Truss' successor would be in place by next Friday.

He reiterated the rules within the Conservative Party mean the final two candidates would go to a members' ballot, unless there was only one candidate left.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for a general election. In a statement, he said: "The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people.

"They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment - Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish."

And First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “There are no words to describe this utter shambles adequately. It’s beyond hyperbole – and parody. Reality though is that ordinary people are paying the price. The interests of the Tory party should concern no-one right now. A general election is now a democratic imperative.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said Truss had made the "right decision" as there were "no other options after recent events".

He added: "We must now move forward quickly with the election of a new Leader and Prime Minister to restore stability for the good of the country.

“It is vital that the Conservative and Unionist Party unites and continues the hard work of getting the whole of the UK through the big challenges we face.”

Scottish Labour's Anas Sarwar also backed a general election. He said: "It is right that Liz Truss has resigned. But, in truth, this entire Tory government has to go."

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “I am sorry to see the Prime Minister step down. However, she was clear that she was not able to deliver her mandate, and I respect her decision.

“What is important now is that the Conservative Party acts quickly to elect a new leader, one we can all get behind.

“The UK Government has acted swiftly to support families and businesses, to help people through the winter, in the face of very significant global challenges.

“There is much more to be done, and we need to unite and continue to deliver for people in our country.”

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