Liz Truss resigns as British prime minister and sets a humiliating record

London, UK - The UK is in complete turmoil as Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation after a chaotic 44 days in office, during which she came close to crashing the economy, was forced to fire her chancellor, and ultimately lost the confidence of the Conservative Party.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing her resignation in front of Number 10 Downing Street.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing her resignation in front of Number 10 Downing Street.  © REUTERS

Truss is set to become the shortest serving prime minister in history after falling to an open revolt by her own party members.

Speaking from a lectern in Downing Street on Thursday, she announced that King Charles III had been informed of her resignation as leader of the Tories.

"I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party," she said, in a statement almost as short as her tenure.

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"I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen," Truss added, clarifying that yet another leadership election will be "be completed within the next week."

Speaking of the leadership elections, the beleaguered politician's time as prime minister lasted a significantly shorter time than the process it took to elect her, which involved six rounds of voting over almost two months.

No British PM in history even comes close to matching the speed of her fall – not even the previous record holder, George Canning, who died in office after 119 days.

Liz Truss and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad budget

Truss walks away after delivering her short resignation speech.
Truss walks away after delivering her short resignation speech.  © REUTERS

Though Truss' failings were legion, it was her market-busting, crisis-inducing economic agenda that fatally damaged her term before it had even started.

Having run on a promise to drastically cut taxes, the 47-year-old and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, unveiled a so-called "mini-budget" on September 23. It contained policies so extreme – unfunded tax reductions that overwhelmingly favored the rich – that the British pound promptly crashed and the Bank of England was forced to bail out pension funds, which were being threatened by the market chaos.

It was all downhill from there, as Truss was forced into U-turn after humiliating U-turn. First, she was forced to offer up Kwarteng as a sacrifice, then she watched his successor, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, shred her entire economic agenda to pieces and put forward its radical opposite – cuts, cuts, and more spending cuts.

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Ultimately, none of this was enough to save her, as the Tories sink into an ever deeper meltdown that seems beyond any one person to fix. Opposition parties, including Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish National Party, are now openly calling for a general election.

Meanwhile, nothing illustrates the state of the governing party's dysfunction more than one report spreading like wildfire after Truss' resignation: among those rumored to be in the running to replace her is none other than Boris Johnson.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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