Liz Truss is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party for 50 days in 2022.
She was the first woman to hold both positions since Margaret Thatcher, whom she admired and emulated.
Early Life and Education
Liz Truss was born Mary Elizabeth Truss on July 26, 1975, in Oxford, England. Her parents were left-leaning academics and activists who opposed the policies of Thatcher's government. Truss grew up in Paisley, Scotland, and Leeds, England, where she attended a state-run comprehensive school. She later studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Merton College, Oxford.
Truss joined the Liberal Democrats in her youth, but switched to the Conservative Party in 1996 after being influenced by Thatcher's autobiography. She worked as an economist and a management consultant before becoming a member of parliament for South West Norfolk in 2010.
Truss held various ministerial positions under the governments of David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson. She served as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2014-2016), Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (2016-2017), Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2017-2019), Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (2019-2021), and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs (2021-2022). She was also Minister for Women and Equalities from 2019 to 2022.
Truss became Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party on September 6, 2022, after winning a leadership election triggered by Johnson's resignation amid a scandal involving his former chief adviser. She was seen as a champion of free trade, low taxes, and deregulation, as well as a staunch supporter of Brexit and the United Kingdom's sovereignty.
However, her premiership was short-lived and turbulent. She faced a series of challenges, including a Russian invasion of Ukraine, a cost of living crisis, industrial disputes, and a death threat from an extremist group. She also struggled to maintain unity within her party and cabinet, as well as to secure public trust and confidence.
On October 25, 2022, Truss announced her resignation as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party after losing a vote of no confidence among her MPs. She was succeeded by Rishi Sunak, who had been her deputy and ally. Truss became the shortest-serving prime minister in British history, with only 50 days in office.