British Prime Minister Liz Truss announces resignation amid party uprising fueled by economic plan

London — British Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Thursday she would resign after a rising chorus of members of her own party called for her to resign. Support for the premiere collapsed spectacularly less than two months into her tenure, with the final straw being a Wednesday night parliamentary vote that plunged into utter chaos, with members of her Conservative party yelling and swearing at each other, some alleged. even that she had been physically abused.

“We set out a vision for a low-tax, high-growth economy that would benefit from the freedoms of Brexit. However, I recognize that given the situation, I am unable to fulfill the mandate for which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to inform him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” Truss said outside the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street in London.

Truss is the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history, taking office only 45 days ago. She said she would remain in the job until members of her party elected a new leader. Truss promised a party leadership election within a week, “to ensure we stay on track to implement our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.”

Wednesday’s parliamentary vote, which took place the future of fracking in the UK, had initially been billed by conservative party whips as a vote of confidence in government; Conservative MPs were told that if they did not support the government’s stance in favor of fracking, they would be considered rebellious and expelled from the party. It would have put many MPs in the position of being forced to support fracking despite their opposition to the controversial practice.

British politics
In this handout photo provided by the British Parliament, British Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks during the Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons in London, Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

Jessica Taylor/AP

However, just minutes before the vote, the Truss government said it would no longer be considered a confidence vote. The turnaround led to confusion, which turned into chaos when the Conservative leader, whose authority had been undermined by the late change of plans, reportedly resigned. Hours later, Truss’s office said the whip remained in her work, only adding to party members’ private outrage at the chaos.

One Conservative MP was quoted anonymously by multiple UK news outlets as deriding the debacle as “the most bullying, yelling and screaming” they’d ever seen, while another was heard saying: “I’m fucking furious and I don’t want to don’t care anymore.”

Senior Conservative MP Charles Walker expressed his outrage to a BBC News crew who were reporting live events in the House of Commons on Wednesday night.

“This whole affair is unforgivable,” Walker told BBC News. “It is a pitiful reflection of the parliamentary Conservative Party at every level, and it is clearly a poor reflection of the government of the time.”

“I’m furious, and you know I really shouldn’t be saying this, but I hope all those people who put Liz Truss at number 10 – I hope it was worth it. I hope it was worth it for the ministerial red box I hope it was worth sitting around the cabinet table Because the damage they have done to our party is extraordinary I’ve had enough I’ve had enough of talentless people putting their tick in the right box – not because it is in the national interest, but because it is in their own interest to attain a ministerial position.”

Earlier on Wednesday, in a major blow to Truss, before the chaotic scenes unfolded in parliament, her Home Secretary Suella Braverman, the minister responsible for immigration and law enforcement, resigned. She resigned after it emerged that she had sent an official document via her personal email account, in violation of government regulations. She apologized for the violation in her resignation letter, but also lashed out at Truss.

“The government trusts people to take responsibility for their mistakes. Pretending we didn’t make mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we made them, and hoping things will magically turn out okay isn’t serious politics. I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility: I resign,” Braverman said. “It is clear to everyone that we are going through a tumultuous time. I am concerned about the direction of this government. Not only have we broken important promises promised to our voters, but I have been deeply concerned about this administration’s commitment to deliver on the manifesto’s commitments.”

Members of the Labor party have been demanding new general elections for weeks, eager to take advantage of the chaos gripping their opponents and take over the British government for the first time in more than a decade. In the UK, general elections must be held at least every five years. They are planned by the serving government. The deadline for the next general election is January 2025, and with the Conservatives voting against the opposition Labor party at an all-time low, they would be very reluctant to hold one anytime soon.

“The Tory party is doing tremendous damage to our economy and to our country’s reputation, and the public is paying with higher prices and higher mortgages,” said Kier Starmer, head of the opposition Labor Party, after Truss resigned. “The public has the right to have their say, which is why there should be a general election.”

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