London: Liz Truss, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, has been chosen as the Conservative Party leader and will now be appointed as the prime minister of the UK.
UK’s 56th prime minister and the third female prime minister Truss takes over from Boris Johnson at a time when the country faces a cost-of-living crisis, industrial unrest and a recession.
Previous UK female prime ministers’ were also from the conservative party: Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
Truss defeated former finance minister Rishi Sunak after a six-week-long campaign.
Besides serving as the foreign secretary of the UK under the leadership of former prime minister Boris Johnson, she also served as the Minister for Women and Equalities.
Childhood and early life
Born in 1975 in Oxford, the new leader was given the name Mary Elizabeth Truss at birth, but she prefers to go by her middle name.
Her father was a mathematics professor and her mother a nurse. Truss completed her schooling from Roundhay in Leeds. She once described her parents as ‘left wing’.
It is reported that once played the role of Margaret Thatcher at a mock school election.
She attended Oxford University, where she read philosophy, politics and economics and was active in student politics, initially for the Liberal Democrats. However, she later switched to the right-wing Conservative Party.
After her graduation, she married accountant Hugh O’Leary in 2000 and described him as a very active member of the local Conservative Party unit. The couple have two children.
Truss started off as a Liberal Democrat, however she switched to the Conservative Party while studying at Oxford. She fought two elections in 2001 and 2005 from Hemsworth and Calder Valley, respectively and suffered defeat.
In 2006, she won her first elections from Greenwich, south-east London, where she was elected as a councillor. David Cameron, former prime minister and Conservative party leader, choose her to contest from the seat of South West Norfolk in the 2010 election.
After two years becoming an MP, Truss was chosen for the role of the Education Minister in 2012 and then was promoted to the role of Environment Secretary.
During Brexit, Truss changed her stance as she originally campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union. However, she later switched her position and backed Brexit after her side lost. After the UK voted for Brexit she said it could change the way the UK worked.
Following the 2017 general election in Britain, Truss was moved to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Under Boris Johnson’s prime ministership in 2019, Truss was made international trade secretary.
In 2021, she took over as Britain’s foreign secretary.
In her campaign, Truss promised to cut taxes on day one if elected and bring down rising inflation in the country. She also promised not to introduce new taxes and that she will also scrap the corporate tax which is slated to increase from 19% to 25% in 2023.