United Kingdom Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced her resignation just six weeks after taking office, setting her up to become the shortest-serving premier in the nation’s history.
Speaking outside her Downing Steet office on Thursday, Truss laid out the headwinds facing her leadership, from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to more general economic stability.
Truss said she could not deliver the promises she made when she was running for Conservative leader, having lost the faith of her party.
“I recognise 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,” she said.
Truss announced her resignation just after 1.30pm on Thursday (11.30pm AEDT) after a meeting with the head of the 1922 Committee, a group of backbench MPs that manages Conservative Party leadership challenges.
Truss said she will remain as prime minister until a successor is chosen. The Conservative party would hold a leadership election to be completed within a week, she said.
The immediate frontrunners to take over as Prime Minister are former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, who were both beaten by Ms Truss in September’s party leadership election.
The leaders of the three other main parties: Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, the Scottish National Party’s Nicola Sturgeon and Sir Ed Davey of the Liberal Democrats have all called for a general election.
The opposition Labour party called for an immediate general election.