Menu
Sun, 5 February 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Economy
Communities
Communities
Economy
Press releases

Liz Truss Says "Brighter Days Lie Ahead", After Abrupt End To Time As Prime Minister

Liz Truss Says 'Brighter Days Lie Ahead', After Abrupt End To Time As Prime Minister

Liz Truss gives a final speech outside Downing Street. (Alamy)

4 min read

Liz Truss has said the UK must make the most of its "Brexit freedoms to do things differently" in a farewell speech outside Downing Street to mark the end of just 45 days as Prime Minister.

She highlighted that she had acted "urgently and decisively" to help households as she aimed to make the substantial energy support package the lasting legacy of her brief premiership. 

But she also appeared to stand by the radical economic philosophy that ultimately cut short her time in office, and did not offer apology for turmoil triggered by her policies. 

"We simply cannot afford to be a low growth country where the government takes up an increasing share of our national wealth, and where there are huge divides between different parts of our country," she said.

"We need to take advantage of our Brexit freedoms to do things differently. This means delivering more freedoms for our citizens, and deliver power to democratic institutions."

"It means lower taxes, so people can keep more of the money they earn, and it means deliver growth that will lead to more job security, higher wages and greater opportunities for our children and grandchildren."

The outgoing Prime Minister added she was "more convinced than ever we need to be bold and confront the challenges that we face".

"As the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote: 'It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult'."

Truss also confirmed she planned to continue on as a backbench MP saying she was looking forward to spending more time in her South West Norfolk constituency.

"Our country continues to battle through a storm," she added.  

"But I believe in Britain. I believe in the British people. And I know that brighter days lie ahead."

Truss will now travel to Buckingham Palace to formally resign to King Charles and recommend the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister after he won a brief Tory leadership contest on Monday. Sunak will then meet the King to be formally asked to form a government.

Truss took office just two days before the death of the late Queen, which put British politics on hold for over a week as the country entered a period of national mourning.

Truss said it had been a "huge honour" to be Prime Minister, and noted the role she had played in the national mourning of the late Queen. 

"In particular, to lead the nation in mourning the death of Her Late Majesty, the Queen after 70 years of service, and welcoming the accession of His Majesty, King Charles III," she added. 

"In just a short period, this government has acted urgently and decisively on the side of hard working families and businesses. We reversed the national insurance increase. We helped millions of people and households with their energy bills."

In her first major move as Prime Minister she and then-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng launched a radical tax-cutting agenda with the "mini-Budget", marking the beginning of the end just weeks into office when the plans triggered economic turmoil.

After a series of humiliating U-turns on key policies, Truss sacked her close ally Kwarteng before being forced by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to scrap the rest of her fiscal plans in an effort to steady financial markets.

Truss announced her resignation on Thursday after just 45 days in the role, making her the UK's shortest ever serving Prime Minister.

In her final Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, Truss told her ministerial team she had secured signficiant achievements in her short time in Downing Street, including financial support to help households with their energy bills during winter.

She was also thanked by Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey and Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, with the pair claiming she had delivered on her promises to cut taxes and improve the NHS.

Her decision to resign last week triggered a fresh Conservative leadership election which was won by former chancellor Rishi Sunak after he was selected unopposed by Conservative MPs.

Sunak is expected to deliver his first formal address to the nation as Prime Minister later this morning after being appointed by King Charles.

In a short statement on Monday, the soon-to-be Prime Minister promised "stability and unity" as he warned the UK faced a "profound economic challenge".

"The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge," he said.

"We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Categories

Political parties