Prime Minister’s resignation: ‘Government is failing businesses’, says Chamber boss
Liz Truss has resigned and will become the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history when a successor is chosen in the next few days.
A leadership election will now begin and be “completed within the next week”, with Truss remaining in office until the end of that campaign.
Truss, is a very brief 204-word statement outside 10 Downing Street this lunchtime, said: “We set out a vision for a low tax, high growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.
“I recognise, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”
It is expected that Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt will feature in the leadership election, with Ben Wallace and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson also likely to be talked about as options.
The next leader will become the fifth-consecutive Conservative Prime Minister but will inherit a huge range of challenges, including the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, the impact of Brexit, and a divided and exhausted party.
There is a statement planned for October 31 by Jeremy Hunt that was to set out a medium-term fiscal plan and release forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility that had been brought forward in an attempt to calm the markets. Longer-term the new leader will also have an eye on the next general election, which must be held by January 2025.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a general election to be held now and said “the British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future”.
Truss took office on September 6 after a long Conservative Party leadership campaign over the summer, but has been under pressure since her then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng delivered his mini-Budget on September 23.
The measures announced caused huge financial issues which led to Kwarteng’s sacking last week, and new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt subsequently reversed almost all of the fiscal policy announcements.
Pressure on Truss mounted even further with the shock resignation yesterday of Home Secretary Suella Braverman – only 43 days into her own job – over data leaks and fierce disagreements over immigration policy.
A Labour effort to push a new law through Parliament banning fracking triggered further Tory turmoil. MPs were warned they would be expelled from the party if they did not support the Government, despite many of them being strongly opposed to fracking. Following the chaotic fracking vote, increasing numbers of Conservative MPs began openly calling on Truss to step down.
The previous shortest-serving Prime Minister was George Canning, in 1827, who served for 119 days before he died in office. It will also be the first time in 100 years that three different Prime Ministers have served in a 12-month period.
Responding to Prime Minister Liz Truss’ announcement of her resignation, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “One of the roles of Government is to create an environment where businesses can thrive in order to create jobs, stimulate economic investment and generate wealth.
“This endless saga of political instability is anything but that and, once again, businesses are left to pick up the pieces.
“For months, they have had to endure a relentless cycle of uncertainty that has created a zero-confidence environment, hampering their ability to plan ahead and invest.
“They can at least take some consolation from the fact they won’t have to sit through another lengthy leadership election. But once a new Prime Minister is in place within the next week, they will expect the chosen individual to work with firms to find solutions to the increasing pile of challenges they face as the crisis in the cost of doing business deepens.”