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Liz Truss Promises "Action This Week" On Energy Bills In First Speech As Prime Minister

Liz Truss delivered a speech outside No 10 (Alamy)

3 min read

Liz Truss has promised "action this week" on energy bills in her first speech as Prime Minister, alongside pledges to "get Britain working again" and "put our health service on a firm footing".

Speaking from outside Downing Street as she prepared to enter No 10 for the first time as Prime Minister, Truss said she was "honoured to take on this responsibility at a vital time for our country".

"We will transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high paying jobs, safe streets, and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve," she continued.

Truss went on to set out her three top priorities for her premiership, starting with a pledge to "get Britain working again" via a "bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform".

"Secondly, I will deal hands on with the energy crisis caused by Putin's war. I will take action this week to deal with energy bills. And to secure our future energy supply," she said.

"Thirdly, I will make sure that people can get doctor's appointments and the NHS services they need. We will put our health service on a firm footing by delivering on the economy on energy and on the NHS."

Truss also thanked her predecessor Boris Johnson, and said that "history will see him as a hugely consequential Prime Minister" who "delivered Brexit, the Covid vaccine and stood up to Russian aggression".

US President Joe Biden expressed his congratulations to Truss shortly after her speech. It's understood that the two world leaders are set to have their first call later this evening.

"I look forward to deepening the special relationship between our countries and working in close cooperation on global challenges, including continued support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression," President Biden wrote on Twitter. 

Truss travelled to Balmoral this morning to be officially asked by the Queen to form a government in her name. Their meeting came less than an hour after Boris Johnson formally offered his resignation to the monarch, ending his tenure as prime minister.

In his final speech from Downing Street on Monday morning, Johnson had praised his successor, claiming that her “compassionate Conservative government” would work to help “people through this crisis”.

He also suggested that the Truss administration would ensure the public has the “cash they need” to deal with soaring energy prices.

Soaring household bills are just one of the many challenges in Truss’ in-tray alongside inflation hitting a 40-year high, record waiting times in the NHS, international divisions over the Northern Ireland protocol, and the growing divides in her own party.

She already faces calls from some of her MPs to “come down hard” on “blue-on-blue” attacks and bring the party back together after a bruising leadership campaign.

One Tory MP suggested that Truss should be considering “kicking people out” to bring back “discipline” in the party, adding that the Tories “can’t afford to keep being so divided”.

Truss is expected to announce the appointment of her Cabinet later on Tuesday evening, with prominent backers of her campaign such as Kwasi Kwarteng and James Cleverly expected to be offered top jobs. 

A number of vacancies have already been created after members of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet confirmed they will stand down in advance of Truss’ announcement. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Monday that she would be resigning her post once a replacement was selected, while Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries claimed this morning she had turned down an offer from Truss to remain in Cabinet. 

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