Liz Truss has announced that she is resigning as Prime Minister, triggering a fresh Tory leadership contest which will be concluded “within the next week”.
Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Ms Truss said she had come to realise that she “cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party”.
She said: “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 have agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week.
“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our countries economic stability and national security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”
Sir Keir Starmer responded to Ms Truss’s resignation by repeating his call for an immediate general election as he said the “British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future”. The Lib Dems and SNP have also called for an election.
Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, said: “It was inevitable Liz Truss would have to go after the damage she’s inflicted – but merely swapping leaders of a broken Tory government is not enough. There must now be a general election – people will accept nothing less.
“The UK is in a state of constant crisis and long-term decline. With all the Westminster parties signed up to the economic pain of a hard Brexit and austerity cuts, it is clear independence is the only way to keep Scotland safe and escape the chaos of Westminster control for good.”
Liz Truss will be the shortest serving prime minister in British history.
She has currently clocked up 44 full days in the role – a long way behind the next shortest premiership, that of Tory statesman George Canning, who spent 118 full days as PM in 1827 before dying in office from ill health.
Ms Truss was to have overtaken this number of days on January 3 2023.
But instead she will fall short by more than two months, with the next prime minister due to be elected within the next week.