Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced she will resign – and a successor will be in place within a week, just over 24 hours after saying she was a ‘fighter and not a quitter.’
Truss has faced growing pressure among her own Conservative MPs to stand down, following weeks of economic and political turmoil.
After just 44 days in office, she becomes the UK’s shortest serving Prime Minister.
The UK’s Labour party leader Keir Starmer has called for an immediate general election in the wake of Liz Truss’s resignation.
He said the Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern, adding the country needed a new start.
She said she was disappointed she couldn’t deliver on more of her policies.
In a statement read outside Downing Street, Ms Truss said: “I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability.”
“Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills.”
Ms Truss added that she was elected “with a mandate to change this“, saying: “We delivered on energy bills.”
She says she recognises she “cannot deliver the mandate” on which she was elected and that there will be a leadership election “to be completed within the next week.”
Her time in office has been dominated by market chaos prompted by the mini-budget that was announced by former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last month.
Despite sacking Mr Kwarteng last week and reversing almost all the unfunded tax cuts that had been proposed, the prime minister’s position had continued to come under pressure.
While Conservative Party rules prevent a challenge in the first 12 months of a new leader’s tenure, it was reported that a significant number of MPs had written to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee, to make clear they had lost confidence in the PM.
On Monday, new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the government would be cutting the energy price guarantee back to six months from the two years previously promised and abandoning the planned 1p reduction to the basic rate of income tax.
The announcement was widely seen as the complete upheaval of Ms Truss’s economic programme, central to her leadership bid.
After Mr Hunt’s statement, the prime minister’s official spokesman refused to deny that Ms Truss was about to resign, instead saying she was “working very closely” with the new chancellor.
On Tuesday, Ms Truss sent House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt to answer an urgent question in the Commons tabled by Labour on the sacking of Mr Kwarteng.
Ms Mordaunt denied to MPs that Ms Truss was hiding “under a desk“.