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Liz Truss
Truss facing frontward, with short blonde hair and dark clothes in front of a grey background.
Official portrait, 2022
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
6 September 2022 – 25 October 2022
Deputy Thérèse Coffey
Preceded by Boris Johnson
Succeeded by Rishi Sunak
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
5 September 2022 – 24 October 2022
Preceded by Boris Johnson
Succeeded by Rishi Sunak
Member of Parliament
for South West Norfolk
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 May 2024
Preceded by Christopher Fraser
Succeeded by Terry Jermy
Majority 26,195 (50.9%)
Personal details
Mary Elizabeth Truss

(1975-07-26) 26 July 1975 (age 48)
Oxford, England
Political party Conservative (since 1996)
Other political
Liberal Democrats (until 1996)
Hugh O'Leary
(m. 2000)
Children 2
  • John Truss (father)
Education Merton College, Oxford (BA)

Elizabeth Mary Truss MP (born 26 July 1975), known as Liz Truss, is a British politician. Truss was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 5 September 2022 to 24 October 2022.

She had been the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs from September 2021 to September 2022 in Boris Johnson's cabinet. She was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2017 to 2019 and Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Norfolk since 2010.

She also served as the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord High Chancellor from 2016 to 2017, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2014 to 2016 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Childcare from 2012 to 2014.

In July 2022, Truss announced her candidacy for Conservative Party leader to replace Boris Johnson in the 2022 Conservative Party leadership election. On 20 July 2022, Truss advanced to the final round of the election and faced Rishi Sunak. On 5 September 2022, it was announced that Truss had defeated her opponent Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership race. Truss announced her resignation as leader of the Conservative party on 20 October 2022 after criticisms of her leadership and economic policies which caused a national crisis.

She was replaced by Rishi Sunak after 50 days in office. She was the shortest serving Prime Minister in British history. Truss was unseated at the 2024 general election.

Early life

Merton College, Oxford from Merton Field
Merton College, Oxford, where Truss studied (pictured in 2023)

Mary Elizabeth Truss was born on 26 July 1975 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England. She was the second child of John and Priscilla Truss (née Grasby); the year before Truss's birth, their first son, Matthew, had died. Truss was known by her middle name, Elizabeth, from early childhood, with her father—a professor of pure mathematics at the University of Leeds—using it regularly, which she preferred; after being given a badge with "Mary" on it on her first day of school, Truss asked her teacher that it be changed. Her mother was a teacher and nurse. Her parents divorced in 2003.

The family moved to Paisley in Scotland when Truss was four years old, where she attended West Primary School. In 1985 they moved south to Leeds, where Truss attended Roundhay School. When Truss was 12 she and her family spent a year in Burnaby, British Columbia, where she attended Parkcrest Elementary School whilst her father taught at Simon Fraser University.

Truss's parents had initially wanted her to study at the University of Cambridge, but Truss instead elected to go to Oxford. Truss read philosophy, politics and economics and graduated in 1996. During her time at university, Truss was active in the Liberal Democrats and was a member of the Oxford Reform Club. By 1996 Truss had joined the Conservative Party.

Political career

Truss was elected to the parliament during the 2010 general election to represent South West Norfolk.

On 4 September 2012, Truss was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education. In this role, she developed some of the policy areas that she had pursued as a backbencher.

In July 2014, Truss was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Truss said that she fully believed that climate change is happening, and that "human beings have contributed to that".

In July 2016, Truss was appointed as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor in Theresa May's first ministry. Truss became the first woman to hold either position and the first female Lord Chancellor in the thousand-year history of the office.

After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, Truss was seen as a candidate for an important cabinet role because of her support of Johnson during the 2019 leadership election. She became Johnson's Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade. After the resignation of Amber Rudd, Truss was also made Minister for Women and Equalities.

In September 2021, Johnson promoted Truss from International Trade Secretary to Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, becoming the second woman to hold the position after Margaret Beckett.

2022 Conservative Party leadership election

On 10 July 2022, Truss announced her plans to run in the Conservative Party leadership election to replace Boris Johnson.

Truss and Rishi Sunak were chosen by Conservative Party MPs to compete in the final stage of the leadership election. On 5 September 2022, she won the election, beating Sunak by 81,326 votes to 60,399.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her resignation (cropped)
Truss announcing her resignation as prime minister on 20 October 2022, after 45 days in office

On 6 September 2022 Queen Elizabeth II appointed Truss as Prime Minister. Two days later, Elizabeth II died at the age of 96. Truss was the first British prime minister during Charles III's reign.

When Truss became prime minister, she picked Thérèse Coffey, a close friend, as Deputy Prime Minister and Health Secretary. Truss also picked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Cleverly as Foreign Secretary and Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. This was the first time in British political history in which no white men were in these four roles.

Early during her time as prime minister, she was criticized over her handling of the economy through tax cuts and limiting energy prices. She cut taxes on businesses and reduced government regulation. Her tax plans were called Trussonomics and were inspired by by the economic policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, known as Reaganomics, and Margaret Thatcher-era Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson. Her tax policies were criticized by the International Monetary Fund, U.S. President Joe Biden, senior Conservative politicians Michael Gove and Grant Shapps, and the Bank of England. Her policies caused the pound to fall to a record low against the US dollar and an increase in the cost of government borrowing. In response, she fired Exchequer Chancellor Kwarteng and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt on 14 October 2022.

After strong criticisms against her leadership and economic policies, especially from members of her party, on 20 October 2022, Truss announced her plan to resign as prime minister after 45 days in office, making her the shortest serving prime minister in the history of the United Kingdom. She was replaced by former Chancellor of the Exchequer and leadership party rival Rishi Sunak on 25 October 2022, 50 days after being in office.

A poll found Truss to be the least popular UK Prime Minister on record. Many other polls ranked her as extremely unpopular.

Post-premiership (2022–present)

Truss remains in the Commons as a backbencher. She was reselected as the Conservative candidate for South West Norfolk in February 2023 and in August that year, she submitted the list of her resignation honours, which were released in December to coincide with the 2024 New Year Honours. In early September 2023 she announced her memoirs about her time as prime minister—titled Ten Years to Save the West—which is planned to be released in April 2024.

In February 2024 she co-launched the Popular Conservatism group along with others including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Lee Anderson and Priti Patel and spoke at its inaugural event.

The 2024 general election, held on 4 July, resulted in Truss losing her seat to the Labour challenger, Terry Jermy.

Personal life

In 2000, Truss married accountant Hugh O'Leary. They have two children.

Images for kids

See also

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