Having been formally appointed as the 56th prime minister of the United Kingdom earlier today, Liz Truss has this afternoon laid out her plans for government on the steps of Downing Street.
In her first big moment in office, Truss repeated her determination to deliver.
Acknowledging the difficulties facing her, Truss remarked, “As strong as the storm maybe, I know the British people are stronger. Our country was built by people who get things done. We have huge reserves of talent, energy, determination. I am confident that together we can ride out the storm”.
Referring to her ambition to tranform Britain into an ‘aspiration nation’, Truss detailed 3 key priorities for her administration.
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“Firstly I will get Britain working again. I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform. I will cut taxes to reward hard work and boost business led growth and investment”.
“Secondly I will deal hands on with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war. I will take action this week to deal with energy bills, and to secure our future energy supply”.
“Thirdly I will make sure that people can get access to doctors appointments and the NHS services they need. We will put our health service on a firm footing”.
At the start of her remarks, Truss paid tribute to her predecessor, Boris Johnson. She claimed that ‘history will see him as a hugely consequential prime minister’.
Liz Truss’ “workmanlike” remarks compare with the more jocular tone struck by Boris Johnnson in the same spot earlier in the day. Upon leaving Downing Street, Johnson talked about the relationship between his dog Dilyn and the Downing Street cat Larry, before comparing himself to a booster rocket falling into the Pacific.
A new prime minister’s first remarks outside Downing Street are often remembered in later years.
In 2016, Theresa May talked about fighting ‘burning injustices’.
In 2007, Gordon Brown quoted his school motto, “I will try my outmost”.
In 1997, Tony Blair declared, “I say to the people of this country — we ran for office as New Labour, we will govern as New Labour”.
Whilst, quoting Saint Francis of Assisi, in 1979 Mrs Thatcher famously remarked, “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith”.
Through the course of this evening and tomorrow, Liz Truss will now finalise appointments across her ministerial team. Details of the new cabinet are expected to be released later tonight.
On Thursday, the government is expected to formally announce its plan to deal with the rising costs of energy. It has been suggested that this will involve a cap on energy prices, funded in effect through a further very significant rise in government borrowing.
Against that background, the attitude of the financial markets is likely to be a cause of particular concern for the new government, perhaps more so than for any administration in the last quarter of a century.
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