Liz Truss

Liz Truss beats out Rishi Sunak to become new Prime Minister

Liz Truss has secured the Premiership after the MP for South West Norfolk beat fellow Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak to be the UK’s next Prime Minister.

Sir Graham Brady read out the results just after midday, announcing that Truss had beat Sunak by more than 20,000 votes with the new Prime Minister getting 81,326 votes and the MP for Richmond getting just 60,399 – 57.4% of the vote compared to 42.6%. Turnout amongst the 172,37-strong electorate was 82.6% with 654 rejected ballot papers.

Speaking in her victory speech, Truss described the leadership campaign as “one of the longest job interviews in the world” and that it was an ”honour” to be elected as leader.

She went onto thank Rishi Sunak saying how their leadership joust had demonstrated “the breadth and depth of talent in the Conservative Party”, as well as praising her “friend” Boris Johnson.

On the outgoing Prime Minister, she said: “Boris, you got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn, you rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin. You were admired from Kyiv to Carlisle.”

She further thanked her friends and colleagues for putting their faith in her to lead “the greatest political party on Earth before finishing her speech saying: ”During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative.

“And my friends, we need to show that we will deliver over the next two years. I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long term issues we have on energy supply. And I will deliver on the National Health Service.”

“But we all will deliver for our country and I will make sure that we use all the fantastic talents of the Conservative Party, our brilliant members of parliament and peers, our fantastic counsellors, our MSs, our MSPs, all of our councillors and activists and members right across our country. Because, my friends, I know that we will deliver, we will deliver and we will deliver and we will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024.

“Thank you.”

Of the four Conservative leaders elected after a membership ballot, Truss is the only one to accrue less than 60% of the vote. The other three occasions were:

  • In 2001 when Iain Duncan Smith secured 60.7% of the vote compared to Ken Clarke’s 39.3% with a turnout of 78.3%.
  • In 2005 when David Cameron secured 67.6% of the vote compared to David Davis’ 32.4% with a turnout of 78.4%.
  • In 2019 when Boris Johnson secured 66.4% of the vote compared to Jeremy Hunt’s 33.6% with a turnout of 87.4%.

The official handover will commence tomorrow when Truss moves into No.10 Downing Street.

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