Liz Truss has been confirmed as the UK’s next Prime Minister, after defeating Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership race.
Truss emerged triumphant as the results of the leadership content were announced shortly after 12.30PM today (September 5) at a meeting of Tory party delegates in Westminster.
She defeated Rishi Sunak after securing 81,326 votes from Tory voters against the former chancellor’s 60,399.
Truss, currently the Foreign Secretary, will now be asked to form a government tomorrow after Boris Johnson steps down.
In her acceptance speech, Truss said it was an honour to be announced as the winner after a “hard-fought campaign” against Rishi Sunak.
Paying tribute to her predecessor Johnson, she said he had led the UK through the coronavirus, while also hailing him for “standing up” to Vladimir Putin against his invasion of Ukraine.
Truss, now the UK’s third female PM after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, will travel to Balmoral Castle tomorrow to meet the Queen and Boris Johnson for the handover of power.
Responding to her win, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted : “I’d like to congratulate our next prime minister Liz Truss as she prepares for office.
“But after 12 years of the Tories all we have to show for it is low wages, high prices, and a Tory cost-of-living crisis. Only Labour can deliver the fresh start our country needs.”
Truss now has a busy week ahead. She has the task of choosing who will serve as her cabinet ministers, while working out her first impactful moves as PM. She has previously pledged to respond to concerns over rapidly rising energy bills within a week of taking power.
The leadership contest was sparked in July, when Boris Johnson announced he would stand down following a number of scandals – including breaching his own lockdown rules within government.
His decision to stand down was finally prompted by the revelation he had promoted Chris Pincher to Deputy Chief Whip, despite knowing he faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
The leadership campaign then began on July 12, with eight candidates securing the backing of 20 of their MP colleagues.
Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi all made it onto the ballot for the first stage of voting, before Truss and Sunak eventually made the final stage.