Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak enter the final battle to become a Uk’s Prime Minister
Today, Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, and Liz Truss, a current foreign minister, were chosen as the last two contenders for the position of British prime minister by Conservative parliamentarians in Britain.
Although Liz Truss went to the same university as most top Conservatives—Oxford—to study politics, philosophy, and economics—she was reared by adamantly Marxist parents in northern England and only switched parties in 1996. At the time, Liz Truss was a member of the Liberal Democrat party.
After a brief stint as a management accountant, Liz Truss was initially chosen to represent South West Norfolk in parliament in 2010. He then held a number of ministerial roles under the administrations of David Cameron and Theresa May.
She backed “remain” before the Brexit referendum but shifted sides once the result was announced, speaking out in favor of both the potential trade benefits of Brexit and Boris Johnson during his 2019 prime ministerial campaign.
Liz Truss as Foreign Secretary
Liz Truss was appointed to the position of foreign secretary in 2021 after serving as the international trade secretary initially. She has drawn acclaim for her hard stance against Russia during the invasion of Ukraine and criticism for her equally steely attitude to discussions with the United States.
Many see Truss as symbolizing a continuance of Johnson’s style of governance because she is still acting as Boris Johnson’s foreign secretary until Britain’s next leader is chosen, for better or worse.
Whereas Sunak has frequently cited Thatcher as an inspiration, Truss has taken her efforts to align herself with the Iron Lady a step further. Last year, when she visited British troops in Estonia, she essentially recreated the iconic photo of Thatcher meeting troops in a British Army tank in West Germany in 1986, and this week, during the leadership debates, she wore a pussy bow blouse that specifically referenced Thatcher. (In fact, some people have thought that these homages are a touch too obvious.)
Some have perceived Truss’s hawkish foreign policy stance—she pledges to increase defense spending—and fierce, Thatcher-like dogmatism regarding tax cuts as appealing to the wider Conservative party. Nevertheless, a challenge for Truss remains her propensity for slip-ups and occasionally awkward public speaking. (Over the past several days, a much-parodied speech from 2014 concerning imported cheese has gained new traction on Twitter.)
Although Liz Truss is now polling ahead of Sunak among the party’s more general membership due to her favor with the right-wing element of the party, there is still plenty of time until September for people to turn their attention to Sunak’s polished campaign.