Liz Truss went down in history as the shortest government in the UK. Between his internal election to the Conservative Party and his resignation were only 44 days. We will have a few more of her as interim premier, while her party, in a hurry, chooses who will be the new, or new, leader of the group and, consequently, premier of the country. The rush to choose is due to a context that already existed and that has now worsened.
When Boris Johnson fell because of his economic management and the controversy of the parties during the lockdown, we explain here in our space that one of the reasons the Conservative Party wanted to replace Boris was because the party was suffering defeats in district elections, in regional elections and because the government approval rating was falling.
Boris Johnson would be removed and a new government would have room to grow, without directly suffering from the pandemic. The new government could then recover the image of the
Tories before the elections scheduled for the end of
. The chosen one was Liz Truss and the plan went down the drain. In 44 days your government managed to create a small economic crisis and go through two political crises.
Crisis and resignation
Mainly, the so-called “mini budget” of Liz Truss, which provided for tax cuts for the richest and for large companies, managed to have such a bad impact that it threw the pound sterling to its lowest value in history . The then Chancellor, the British economy minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, was invited to leave, amid images of him toasting the tax cut with big business.
Days later, on the last day 19, the interior secretary Suella Braverman resigned, leaving a very critical letter to the prime minister. On the same day, forty Conservative lawmakers did not want to vote in a debate on hydraulic fracturing, in order not to support the government directly. The situation became untenable and Liz Truss resigned, remaining on an interim basis until a new Conservative leader is elected.
The Conservative Party is in a hurry and will start the procedure for choosing a new leader as early as next Monday . In the British press there is speculation about a possible major agreement to reach a consensus name, avoiding an election proper within the party, which would take longer. The strongest name at the moment? The same Boris Johnson that Liz Truss replaced.
The rush is due to the fact that calls for early general elections are already being heard. Labour opposition leaders, Welsh head of government Mark Drakeford and Scottish National Party leader and Scottish head of government Nicola Sturgeon are among the voices calling for a general election. They question the capacity and legitimacy of a possible new Conservative government.
The call for a new election, however, would result in the dissolution of Parliament. Today, the majority of the house is with the Conservatives, meaning there is no way a vote for dissolution will pass. And the Conservative Party, of course, has no reason to want such a dissolution. If the choice of a new government leadership is delayed, however, this scenario could change.
Disgruntled politicians and popular pressure could end up giving impetus to calls for new elections. And here comes the main information to explain the electoral fear of the Conservatives at the moment: all the polls point to a landslide victory for the Labor Party. The electoral scenario for the Conservatives today is worse than when Boris Johnson fell.
If the Tories reach a consensus name next Monday, it is possible that, until the next Friday, the name is sworn in, reducing, at least for the moment, the pressure for new elections. Of course, that’s if the government isn’t another disaster, like Liz Truss’s was. Interestingly, we will have a head of government sworn in by a King Charles III not yet crowned.
In a few years, maybe decades, some question and answer program will ask the question “who held the position of prime minister? of the United Kingdom upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II?”, with the irony of the longest-running British monarch having died during the country’s briefest rule. Liz Truss is on her way to being a trivia topic, setting a record she didn’t want. Even her party already wants to forget about her soon.