Having defeated Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership race, Liz Truss took the oath of office as the next PM of the United Kingdom on Tuesday. Liz Truss will become the United Kingdom’s third female prime minister, following Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. However, no white individuals will hold key cabinet positions. Liz Truss defeated Rishi Sunak among party members with 81,326 votes to 60,336. Liz Truss, the current UK Foreign Secretary and leader of the Conservative Party, were elected as the next UK Prime Minister on Monday. With Boris Johnson’s formal resignation to the Queen on Tuesday, the 47-year-old takes over. Truss delivered her first speech as prime minister on Tuesday afternoon outside 10 Downing Street.
The cabinet under Liz Truss is the first in British history to not include any white men.
In British history, this is the first time a white man will hold none of the four most senior ministerial posts after new Prime Minister Liz Truss made her cabinet selections. Before a few decades, the majority of members of British governments were white men. Britain did not designate its first ethnic minority cabinet minister until 2002 when Paul Boateng was named chief secretary to the Treasury.
Truss appointed Kwasi Kwarteng, whose parents emigrated from Ghana in the 1960s, as Britain’s first Black finance minister, whereas James Cleverly is the country’s first Black foreign minister. Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone and whose father is white, has previously discussed being bullied as a child of mixed race and stated that the party must do more to attract Black voters.
Suella Braverman, whose parents immigrated to the United Kingdom from Kenya and Mauritius sixty years ago, succeeds Priti Patel as the second ethnic minority home secretary or interior minister, where she will be in charge of police and immigration. The Conservative Party has recently pushed for a more diverse slate of parliamentary candidates, contributing to the growing diversity. Rishi Sunak, whose parents were Indian, was Kwarteng’s predecessor in the financial position and Truss’s runner-up in the context of leadership.
“Politics has established the pace. We now consider this diversity normal” Sunder Katwala, the director of the apolitical think tank British Future, which centers on migration and identity, stated the following. “The pace of change is astounding.”
Liz Truss, the new PM of the United Kingdom, is who?
In only six years, Truss became the fourth leader and prime minister of the Conservative Party. She is the fifteenth prime minister of Queen Elizabeth and the third woman to hold the position.
Her rapid ascent to the top began in 2010 when she was elected to Parliament for the first time. Four years later, she became the environment secretary in David Cameron’s cabinet. She subsequently served as the justice secretary, then the chief secretary to the Treasury under Theresa May, and the international trade secretary and foreign secretary under Johnson.
Truss is an outspoken advocate of economic libertarianism. When the UK’s membership in the EU was put to the vote in 2016, she enthusiastically backed remain. However, she later switched her allegiance to leave. She has advocated for Brexit and taken a prominently hawkish stance against Russia regarding its invasion of Ukraine. Truss’s economic libertarianism, political optimism, and hawkishness proved decisive in the 2022 presidential election. Her tax-cutting agenda, combined with her former allegiance to Johnson, gave her a significant advantage over Sunak despite several gaffes and U-turns.
The resignation of Boris Johnson as Conservative leader and prime minister in July resulted in Truss taking over for Johnson. Sixty ministers and other political appointees, including the health secretary Sajid Javid and the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, resigned in protest against Johnson’s mismanagement of a scandal involving Chris Pincher, the government’s former deputy chief whip. After being charged with assaulting two men sexually at a private members club, he quit that position. Pincher stated that he had “drunk far too much” and embarrassed himself, but he denied the allegations and remains an independent member of Parliament.
Truss will immediately face a daunting to-do list upon assuming office, as the United Kingdom is amid its worst economic crisis in decades. Energy prices are soaring, a recession is a distinct possibility, and inflation has reached a 40-year high of 10.1%. According to sources, the worst is yet to come. According to Britain’s energy regulator, the average annual electricity bill will increase by 80% to £3,549 in October. This will cause millions of households to be unable to afford fuel. Likewise, businesses are at risk. Truss has pledged tax cuts to stimulate economic growth despite warnings that increased borrowing could exacerbate inflation.