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Liz Truss resigns after six weeks as UK prime minister

Truss said "I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party."

 
(Source: Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) — Liz Truss said on Thursday she would resign as British prime minister, brought down just six weeks into the job by an economic program that shattered investor confidence and enraged much of her Conservative Party.

She was brought down by an economic program that sent shockwaves through financial markets last month, and divided her Conservative party.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Truss accepted she could not deliver the promises she made when running for the leadership.

"I recognize though given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the king, to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party. This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We've agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week."

Truss will remain in office until a successor is chosen.

She is the shortest serving prime minister in British history.

The sense of chaos at Westminster in recent days has been palpable.

Earlier, Conservative Party officials had gathered at Downing Street while a growing number of Truss' lawmakers called on her to quit.

That after approval ratings for both her and the party collapsed.

Last week, Truss was forced to sack her finance minister and closest political ally Kwasi Kwarteng and abandon almost all of her economic program after their plans for vast unfunded tax cuts crashed the pound and British bonds.

On Wednesday (Oct. 19) she lost the second of the government's four most senior ministers, faced jibes as she tried to defend her record to parliament, and saw her lawmakers openly quarrel over policy.

New Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is now racing to find tens of billions of pounds of spending cuts.

In an effort to reassure investors and rebuild Britain's fiscal reputation, as the economy races towards a recession.

Shortly after the announcement, the British pound edged up against the U.S. dollar, reversing earlier losses.

Conservative MPs will now begin throwing their hats in the ring to take a shot at the premiership.

Early speculation suggests that some contenders from the previous election race earlier this year, including Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, will be in the running, as well as former prime minister Boris Johnson.

Read more: UK
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