The UK’s Prime Minister Resigns After Just 45 Days in Office

This article was originally published by Vanity Fair.

After just 45 days in office, Liz Truss announced Thursday that she was resigning as British Prime Minister, marking the shortest term in the country’s history.

“I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” she said, adding that she’ll remain if office until a new prime minister is chosen within the next week.  

Truss’s exit continues the revolving door at 10 Downing Street, as three Conservative prime ministers have resigned in as many years, according to the Associated Press. In July, Boris Johnson resigned after months of turmoil and several scandals, including Partygate (for which he was ultimately fined, alongside 82 others, for attending parties during Covid-19 lockdown) and a series of sexual-misconduct allegations against politicians close to Johnson, that he was accused of mishandling.

As Isobel Thompson wrote for Vanity Fair, Truss was seen as a “straight talker” with a clear policy vision for the U.K.—something Johnson was criticized for lacking. Yet she’s resigned having lost the faith of her conservative colleagues, leaving the U.K. in a state of economic and political chaos. Truss’s fate was largely sealed by the financial markets, which spun out quickly after she and then chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in September unveiled £45 billion in tax cuts—funded by borrowing—largely for the wealthy. The market response to “Trussonomics” was fierce; the pound plummeted, interest rates rose and the Bank of England was forced to intervene with £65 billion to stabilize pensions. Kwarteng was fired amid the chaos. Truss’ disapproval rating topped 70 percent, and the Labour Party saw a sudden resurgence. 

Last week, the British Tabloid the Daily Star started a contest; would a head of lettuce, with a 10 day shelf life, recorded on live stream with a wig to resemble the Truss, outlast the prime minister? 

The answer came Thursday: Yes, the lettuce would.

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