Liz Truss to focus on economy, energy and healthcare as British Prime Minister

In her maiden speech as PM, Liz Truss said that she is honoured to take on the responsibility at a vital time for the country.

In her maiden speech as PM, Liz Truss said that she is honoured to take on the responsibility at a vital time for the country.

Former U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who was declared the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest on Monday, beating former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Tuesday by its monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

Ms. Truss said she would focus on three priorities: the economy, the energy crisis facing the country and improving the National Health Service (NSH).

The new Prime Minister faces enormous economic challenges domestically — starting with combatting burgeoning energy prices and a cost of living crisis. She also faces political challenges, such as resolving a messy consequence of Brexit involving Northern Ireland’s customs borders. She will also have to navigate another call for Scottish independence. Ms. Truss had vehemently opposed a call for a second referendum.

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Speaking outside Downing Street after her arrival from Scotland, where she was appointed by the Queen, the new prime minister said she would transform Britain into an “aspiration nation”, cutting taxes and pushing reforms to grow the economy.

“I will deal hands-on with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war,” Ms. Truss said, having promised over the weekend that she would announce a plan within a week of assuming office to tackle short-term energy price challenges and longer-term supply issues. The Financial Times reported that she was working on a GBP 100 billion plan to protect households and businesses from soaring energy bills this winter.  

She will also attempt to unite her party while putting together a cabinet to deliver her program. For the first time in history, the ‘four great offices of state’ — the posts of Prime Minister, Chancellor, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary are likely to be held by people who are not white males, as widely noted by the British press.  

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The job of Foreign Secretary is likely to go to the former government’s Education Secretary, James Cleverly. The Johnson government’s Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, who is of Ghanaian origin, is likely going to be Chancellor — the first black person in the role. Attorney General Suella Braverman, whose parents are of Indian ancestry and from Kenya and Mauritius, is likely to be the Home Secretary.  

Her predecessor Priti Patel resigned from her post earlier on Tuesday and said it was her choice to leave government, according to the BBC. Ms. Patel said she would support the new Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak to not be part of Truss government

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who had signalled his support for Ms. Truss early on, is likely to get a cabinet role, while Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey is tipped to get the health portfolio. Mr. Sunak and his highest profile supporter, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, will likely be backbench MPs.

Ms. Truss has shown an openness to giving Mr. Sunak a position in her government, an outcome Mr. Sunak seemed to shy away from due to a lack of agreement “on the big things”.

Key quotes from her maiden speech


“As prime minister, I will pursue three early priorities. Firstly, I will get Britain working again. I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform.

“I will cut taxes to reward hard work and boost business-led growth and investment. I will drive reform in my mission to get the United Kingdom working, building and growing. We’ll get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills and we will also make sure that we are building hospitals, schools, roads and broadband.

“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.

“Thirdly, I will make sure that people can get doctors’ 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, we will put our nation on the path to long-term success.”


“We will transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high-paying jobs, safe streets and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve. I will take action this day and action every day to make it happen.”


“United with our allies, we will stand up for freedom and democracy around the world. Recognising that we can’t have security at home without having security abroad.”

(With inputs from Reuters)

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