Truss replaces Johnson as PM after meeting with Queen

(Update: recasts with Truss meeting with Queen)

London, Sep 6 (EFE).- Liz Truss, the new leader of the ruling Conservative Party, was formally appointed as the United Kingdom’s prime minister on Tuesday after a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.

Truss, who served in outgoing PM Boris Johnson’s cabinet as foreign secretary, becomes the third woman to hold the office of British prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

“The Queen received Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle today,” Buckingham Palace said on Twitter, accompanying a photo of the Queen and Truss shaking hands during a private meeting.

“Her Majesty asked her to form a new Administration. Ms. Truss accepted Her Majesty’s offer and was appointed Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury.”

Due to mobility issues, the queen has broken from decades of tradition this year by confirming the handover of power in Scotland, where she spends the summer, rather than Buckingham Palace, in London.

Earlier on Tuesday, Boris Johnson gave a farewell speech outside Downing Street ahead of his resignation and handover of power to Truss, who was confirmed as the new Tory leader after a vote by Conservative Party members.

“This is it, folks,” Johnson told his supporters, colleagues and reporters hours before a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at her Scottish residence Balmoral Castle to make his resignation official, after announcing it in July.

The divisive politician launched into a review of his tenure, outlining his handling of Brexit, the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and the UK’s support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

Johnson, 58, said he would offer his “most fervent support” to the incoming government.

“The torch will finally be passed to a new Conservative leader, the baton will be handed over in what has unexpectedly turned out to be a relay race – they changed the rules halfway through, but never mind that now,” Johnson, the third Tory PM in six years whose tenure has been cut short, added.

“I am now like one of those booster rockets that had fulfilled its function and I will now be gently reentering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific.”

Johnson said that thanks to his government the UK had the “economic strength” to “give people the cash they need” to weather the energy crisis, which he added had been caused by “Putin’s vicious war.”

Johnson’s resignation was precipitated by mass resignations in his government in response to a string of controversies, including the illegal parties held at Downing Street while the UK was in the teeth of a strict Covid-19 lockdown.

Truss is expected to outline her plans to tackle the UK’s cost of living crisis once she takes to the helm of a new cabinet of ministers.

The next UK general election is slated for 2024. EFE


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