Conservative Party Choice Liz Truss Named Next UK Prime Minister

Liz Truss of the U.K.’s Conservative Party will become the country’s 56th prime minister, replacing Boris Johnson who resigned in July. Truss, 47, currently serves as foreign secretary and was announced as the party’s choice to lead the government on Monday, beating out rival Rishi Sunak.

Truss will be the U.K.’s third female prime minister, following Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher. She will take office on Tuesday after an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.

Truss was born in Oxford to a math professor and nurse who she says were “left-leaning.” She told reporters that she remembers her parents taking her to anti-nuclear and anti-Thatcher protests when she was a child. Truss added that she remembers beginning to argue over politics “with her socialist parents” at an early age.

British libertarian commentator Mark Littlewood has known Truss since they attended college together and says that she is more “radical than conservative,” and is like Thatcher in that she “wants to roll back the intervention of the state” in British life.

Truss was appointed as foreign secretary last September by Johnson. In the year she has served as the nation’s top diplomat, she has been praised for securing the release of two U.K. citizens who were held captive in Iran.

She served previously as British trade secretary for Johnson and has also served as justice secretary. She was demoted from that position by Prime Minister Theresa May before returning to a leadership position under Johnson.

Before entering Parliament in 2010, Truss worked for energy firm Shell and telecommunications company Cable and Wireless as an economist.

Truss campaigned for prime minister on a right-wing platform of tax cuts designed to avert a lengthy recession.

U.K. political commentator Bill Blain believes that Truss must demonstrate that her new government and economic program has the confidence of the British people no later than the end of this week. He said that if she fails to deliver that quickly, the U.K. financial markets and the strength of the nation’s currency face an even steeper decline.

Truss has been criticized for being a less than stellar communicator of her policy objectives and philosophy for governing. As the U.K. faces a worsening energy crisis along with most of Europe, she has a difficult first few days ahead.