Who is Liz Truss is the question that is on lips around the world? Where did this known woman come from and how has she risen to such a powerful position without a great fanfare beforehand?
As Britain’s third woman Prime Minister Liz Truss steps onto the world stage. Truss is better known on the international stage than on the domestic scene.
Ms. Liz Truss did not get the traditional trip into Buckingham Palace to be appointed Prime Minister by the Queen. Instead, her appointment started at Windsor Castle.
Young Liz Truss
From a young age, 47-year-old Mary Elizabeth Truss, was known as Liz Truss. Despite marriage, she continues to be known as Liz Truss. Something that would not have been permitted 100 years ago, when women were forced to take their husband’s name. Liz married fellow accountant, Hugh O’Leary in 2000. The couple have two daughters and have survived some daunting difficulties.
Truss is remembered as being a studious girl at school, with ‘geeky’ friends who were either eccentric or non-mainstream. She was interested in social issues such as homelessness as a teenager. She read Politics and Economics at Merton College, Oxford.
Truss quickly became active in the Liberal Democrats, supporting the legalism of cannabis and the abolition of the monarchy. Hopefully, she has left the anti-monarchist sentiments aside, as Queen Elizabeth II appoints her as the 15th Prime Minister on 6th August, 2022.
Truss’s goal for a serious political career began in 1998 as chair of the Lewisham Deptford Conservative Association. In 2010, she was elected to the House of Commons, but only after a scandal involving another member of parliament, through which her marriage survived.
In 2012, Truss became a Junior ministerial minister as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Education.
Truss climbed up the political ladder with varied top jobs. She was the Environment Secretary from 2014 to 2016. Then she became Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor from 2016 to 2017, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, up to 2019.
Truss continued climbing, becoming International Trade Secretary from 2019 to 2021. The next rung on the ladder was Foreign Secretary. Her voice was always loud and strong on a wide variety of issues.
Party Leader and New Prime Minister Liz Truss
In the race for party leadership the fight came down to final two candidates. Truss received 113 votes to her opponent’s 137 votes. Behind closed doors, the 180,000 grassroots members of the Conservative Party finally voted Truss as their leader.
As leader of the Conservative Party, she becomes Prime Minister Liz Truss of Great Britain, upon the enforced resignation of Boris Johnson. Yet many say, in electing Truss as their leader, they have increased the party’s chances of losing the next general elections, as she offers ‘more of the same’. They say it is the ‘same world, but a different planet’, facing serious problems.
Truss is not liked by the Russian Prime Minister, Putin. She has openly stated he should resign. Russia has already issued a scathing attack on Truss, saying there is no hope for better relations between Russia and the United Kingdom. During her campaign she said, Truss said: “I stood up to Vladimir Putin by targeting Russia with the toughest sanctions his regime has ever seen. And I would continue to lead the free world in opposing Putin and making sure that Ukraine prevails.”
That was when she was Foreign Secretary.
Female Prime Ministers
Truss is only the third female British Prime Minister. It is believed that Truss has self-consciously adopted Thatcherite imagery.
Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the first woman Prime Minister, and also the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. She earned a list of nicknames, including the ‘Iron Lady’, That Bloody Woman, The Great She-Elephant, Madame Frit, Maggie the Great, The Great Charmer.
Queen Elizabeth, with 650 guests, attended Thatcher’s 80th birthday. Thatcher died at age 87 in 2013. Her funeral cost around £3.6 million, which included £3.1 million for security, although it wasn’t a full state funeral. It was only the second time Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s Brand and National Treasure, attended the funeral of one of her prime ministers. Considering the Queen and Thatcher did not have the easiest of relationships.
Theresa May became Prime Minister when David Cameron resigned. May faced the chaos of England trying to leave Brexit. She resigned after three tumultuous years, to be replaced by Boris Johnson. Theresa May remains as a backbencher.
New Prime Minister Liz Truss
New Prime Minister Liz Truss is the country’s fourth leader in six years,. She picks up the gauntlet of leadership amid a cost-of-living crisis, a cascade of workers’ strikes, a potential lengthy recession, angry Tories and of course the ongoing Russia – Ukraine situation.
New Prime Minister Liz Truss faces a mass of policy challenges of a variety and scale almost unprecedented for a postwar leader. The fate of the United Kingdom could be affected for years to come. Liz Truss is a flag for womanomics. She could be one of the woman pioneers who changed the world.
Like many men who are prepared to stand behind their famous wives, Hugh O’Leary could well become known as ‘Mr Truss’, while she remains Ms. Truss, or simply, the Honourable Prime Minister.
I’m sure all males empathise with any man who has to stand behind a powerful woman. Yet, there have been many women who have shaped history, and Liz Truss might just be another one. To simply reach the state of being a female British prime minister is a milestone on its own. It proves there is no dream too outlandish for any woman.
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