The new leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, Liz Truss, will replace Boris Johnson at the head of government this Tuesday. Both are traveling to Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth II, the head of state, will first approve the resignation of the previous Prime Minister Johnson and then commission Truss to form a new government.
The Queen traditionally stays at her Scottish country estate, Balmoral Castle, from mid-July to mid-September. The fact that she does not receive the politicians at Buckingham Palace in London has to do with the mobility problems of the 96-year-old monarch, who, with Liz Truss, has now seen three female and 12 prime ministers during her reign.
Johnson wants to give a speech to the nation before he leaves for Scotland (approx. 08.30 a.m. CEST). It is rumored that he is already planning his political comeback. It can at least be expected that he will continue to speak up frequently in the future.
After her appointment by the Queen (approx. 1.10 p.m.), Truss will first return to London before addressing the British from London’s Downing Street in the afternoon (approx. 5 p.m.).
Truss is expected to outline the outlines of a plan to cushion the skyrocketing rise in the cost of living. In Great Britain, too, there are fears that the energy costs that have skyrocketed as a result of the Ukraine war could put millions of households in financial difficulties.
According to a report in the tabloid “Sun”, the prices for gas and electricity are to be frozen – a project that, according to the report, is likely to cost the British state at least 40 billion pounds (around 46.5 billion euros).
At the same time, if Truss sticks to its announcements that it will cut taxes, it will be a difficult balancing act. Add to this the problems of the chronically underfunded NHS health service and massive public sector dissatisfaction with wages and salaries.
The support that Johnson’s successor enjoys within her own party and within her group is by no means unqualified. Truss was elected party leader on Monday after a week-long internal party selection process with a relatively narrow majority.
The previous foreign minister was able to assert herself against ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak in the vote among the Tory members, albeit less clearly than initially thought.
About 81,000 party members voted for Truss, Sunak received about 60,000 votes. Truss thus achieved the worst result since the party members introduced voting at the beginning of the millennium. In the parliamentary group, she initially had even fewer supporters than her more moderate rival Sunak.
This increases the pressure on Truss to immediately make a positive impression on voters. So far, she has not been able to do so, as a quick poll by the opinion research institute Yougov showed on Monday.
Accordingly, 50 percent of respondents were disappointed that Truss should be their prime minister. Only 22 percent were satisfied. The poll numbers for the Conservatives in relation to the opposition Labor Party are currently looking similarly bad.
To make matters worse for Truss, she has lent herself to the right wing of her party, whose dogmas include a lean state and a tough stance on the EU.