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Liz Truss becomes UK prime minister after meeting the Queen

News Sep 6, 2022 at 15:18

Liz Truss becomes UK prime minister after meeting the Queen

Having won the Conservative leadership contest, the former foreign secretary headed to Balmoral to be officially asked to form a government by the monarch.

Liz Truss has become the prime minister of the United Kingdom after being officially asked by the Queen to form a new government.

The former foreign secretary beat her rival Rishi Sunak to win the Conservative leadership race on Monday and will replace Boris Johnson in Number 10.

In a break with tradition, Ms Truss travelled to Balmoral, where the Queen is on holiday, for her formal appointment.

It was thought to be best for the Queen, 96, not to travel back to London due to her intermittent mobility issues.

A picture of the pair showed them meeting in the drawing room of Balmoral in front of an ornate fireplace.

The smiling monarch, who was wearing a tartan skirt and holding her walking stick, was pictured shaking hands with Ms Truss as she became the 15th prime minister of the Queen’s reign – the first being Winston Churchill.

Now that the so-called kissing the ring ceremony has passed, Ms Truss will return to Downing Street to begin assembling her cabinet.

Several well-known figures have resigned ahead of the expected reshuffle, including Priti Patel, the home secretary, and Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary.

Other MPs will be eagerly waiting by their phones for a job offer, or their marching orders.

Earlier, Mr Johnson gave his last speech as prime minister to a packed Downing Street before travelling to Balmoral to formally tender his resignation to the Queen.

He said he would “get behind Liz Truss every step of the way” and told the Conservative Party that “it is time to get behind” his successor.

Mr Johnson also hinted at a possible political comeback, comparing himself to Cincinnatus, a Roman statesman who resigned and returned to his farm before, according to tradition, becoming leader again in later years.

After Ms Truss returns from Scotland, she will make her own speech on the steps of Number 10 to set the agenda for her leadership.