45 Days So Far, Set to Remain Behind Earlier Record From 1820s

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Liz Truss succeeded Boris Johnson; defeated Rishi Sunak in race to be party leader.

Liz Truss will go down as the UK Prime Minister with the shortest time in office — 45 days when she announced her resignation today, plus a week or so until a new leader is chosen.

The ruling Conservative Party will elect its new leader within the next week, until which time she will remain the PM, she said. Counting that too, Liz Truss, who’d succeeded Boris Johnson, would remain much behind the earlier shortest tenure — 119 days served by George Canning in 1827, his tenure cut short by death.

Brought down by her inability to cut taxes amid a price-rise, Liz Truss was in office for a shorter duration than the time it took for her election as the party leader.

After Boris Johnson resigned on July 7 — after several of his ministers resigned after scandals broke one after another — the party held an election in which Liz Truss faced a challenge from former finance minister Rishi Sunak. The results came on September 5, after almost two months, and she was appointed the PM the next day.

“The toughest job interview ever” is how Liz Truss had described the party election.

“I am not a quitter,” she’d said just a day before she resigned.

Party lawmakers say her successor will either be Rishi Sunak, or Penny Mordaunt, who came third in the race just six weeks ago, said news agency Reuters.

She has another unenviable record — the shortest-serving Conservative Party leader, no matter the party be in power or not.

She accepted in her resignation that she could not keep the promises she made — critics said people are having to “choose between heating or eating” — and she said the party had also lost faith in her.

Over the past six weeks, she was forced to sack her finance minister and then drop all her economic policies, as her plans for massive tax cuts to control prices led to a crash in the stock markets and the currency, Pound Sterling. Reason: Her tax cuts came without concrete plans about how to fund the shortfall.

“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,” she said outside 10 Downing Street.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who leads the Opposition, demanded an immediate general election to elect a new government.

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