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About six weeks ago, Liz Truss became the prime minister of the UK, having won an election of about 200,000 conservative voters. She ran on a platform of cutting taxes for the rich, touting trickle-down economics as her justification. But when she went to implement the policy, UK markets weren’t happy, leading the BoE to roll out emergency interventions.
Well, now Truss is really dealing with a lot of political headwinds. She ended up firing her Chancellor of the Exchequer (basically the Treasury minister) over the weekend and had to appoint a new one to reverse the tax policies she ran her campaign on. And today, her home secretary resigned, leaving a brutal letter behind. There was also a kerfuffle in Parliament over a bill that some argued was a vote of confidence. More than 40 tories failed to back Truss in that vote.
She’s officially the least popular prime minister in the history of polling, with only a 10% approval rating. One British tabloid is even running a live stream to see if she can outlast a head of lettuce (which has about a 10-day shelf life). So now people are asking the big question – just six weeks into the role, is it time for Truss to resign?
It is obvious to everyone that we are going through a tumultuous time,” wrote Suella Braverman, the now former home secretary under Truss, in her resignation letter. “I have concerns about the direction of this government. Not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have had serious concerns about this Government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments,” she wrote.
“Truss just can’t stay in office for one very obvious reason: she campaigned against the policies she is now implementing,” wrote Lord David Frost, Boris Johnson’s negotiator during Brexit, in an op-ed in the Telegraph. “Her fate is to be the Henry VI of modern politics – a weak figurehead, unable to control the forces around her, occasionally humiliated, and disposed of when she has become inconvenient. Better to go now.”
“I am a fighter and not a quitter,” Truss told a packed House of Commons on Wednesday amid jeers and chants of “resign, resign.”