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by Kirsteen Paterson
06 September 2022
PM Liz Truss: ‘Now is the time to tackle the issues holding Britain back’

Truss making her first speech as Prime Minister | Credit: Alamy

PM Liz Truss: ‘Now is the time to tackle the issues holding Britain back’

Liz Truss has vowed to turn Britain "into an aspiration nation" in her first speech as Prime Minister.

Her three early priorities will be to "get Britain working again" and grow the economy through tax cuts and reform, to deal with the energy crisis and "secure our future energy supply" and to put the health service "on a firm footing".

She said: "We shouldn't be daunted by the challenges we face. As strong as the storm may be, I know the British people are stronger. Our country was built by people who get things done."

Opening her speech, Truss praised her predecessor, saying: "Boris Johnson delivered Brexit, the Covid vaccine and stood up to Russian aggression. History will see him as a hugely consequential prime minister."

She went on: "Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back. We need to build roads, homes and broadband faster. We need more investment and great jobs in every town and city across our country. We need to reduce the burden on families and help people get on in life. I know that we have what it takes to tackle those challenges.

"Of course, it won't be easy, but we can do it. We will transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high paying jobs, safe streets and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve. I will take action this day and action every day to make it happen."

The Conservative leader arrived in Downing Street after first travelling to Balmoral to visit the Queen, where she was asked to form a government.

She and Boris Johnson, who gave his official resignation to the monarch this morning, travelled in separate planes for the ceremonial handover of power.

Rain poured in Aberdeenshire for the first meeting and began in central London as her Range Rover headed towards Number 10, where allies gathered to hear her speak. The microphone on the lectern was covered by what looked like a ragged black bin bag to protect them from the downpour.

Conditions improved for Truss' arrival and her brief speech.

Truss is the third woman prime minister and is also the third to hold the post in three years. Latterly foreign secretary, she was the bookies' favourite in the run-off against Rishi Sunak and took 57 per cent of support in the voting by Conservative party members.

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