Liz Truss to replace Boris Johnson in Downing Street?

NIKLAS HALLE’N / AFP (FILES) In this file photo taken on June 07, 2022 Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrives to attend a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London. – After a grueling tour of the country, a dozen hustings and three televised debates, Liz Truss looks poised to take over as the UK’s next prime minister heading into the end of the vote by members of the Conservative party on Friday. (Photo by Niklas HALLE’N / AFP)

NIKLAS HALLE’N / AFP

Liz Truss is the favorite to replace Boris Johnson in Downing Street on September 5, 2022.

UNITED KINGDOM – The time of succession has come. This Monday, September 5, Boris Johnson will learn the name of his replacement at 10 Downing Street after he was forced to resign in early July due to the increasing departure of ministers angered by his repeated scandals. Barring a dramatic change, Liz Truss, current Foreign Affairs Minister, should be elected by members of the Conservative Party to replace her.

Hardened by a rich political career, Liz Truss has emerged as the favorite in the race for Downing Street against Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister who was one of the first to resign and remains a prisoner of his image. of the rich technocrat banker.

The vote ended on Friday and the result will be announced on Monday at noon. “It will be a very big surprise if he doesn’t win”explained to AFP that John Curtice, political scientist at the University of Strathclyde, noted the ability of the minister to “politically appeals to conservative followers and conveys a clear message to them”.

Rallying on conservatism and Brexit late in the day, the 47-year-old minister won over the base of the ruling party, 160,000 members, mainly older and white men on the far right, who decided between finalists to replace Boris Johnson. His regular references to Margaret Thatcher have a lot to do with this.

Against Brexit in 2016

Liz Truss has had a sometimes tortuous political career behind her. Born on July 26, 1975 into a left-wing family, he was first active in the center Liberal-Democrat party before joining the Conservatives in 1996, where he became MP in 2010, for the South West Norfolk constituency. (east of England).

Since 2012, he has chained positions in ministries (Education, Environment, Justice then Chief Secretary of the Treasury). He knows defeats and failures: he almost lost the legislative nomination due to an extramarital affair and was demoted by Theresa May after a difficult passage of Justice.

He may also pay for his vote against Brexit in 2016. But he became one of its most ardent supporters, negotiating and announcing new free trade agreements at the Department for International Trade.

Margaret Thatcher, a model

Appointed in 2021 at the head of British diplomacy – a way for Boris Johnson to control his ambitions -, he is unmovable against the European Union in Northern Ireland, and Boris Johnson embodied the stability against Russia after the invasion in Ukraine. A position that contrasts with that of Emmanuel Macron, a supporter of dialogue with Vladimir Putin.

She fed comparisons to Margaret Thatcher, was hugely popular and delighted conservatives with her tough talk on unions. Sometimes considered tough, he has appeared more relaxed in recent weeks, while his allies describe him as a bon vivant who loves cheese and karaoke. He was also considered loyal, as he was one of the few who did not resign from his post in July.

“In a party that has evolved towards populism, he has managed to present himself in a more authentic, more ordinary way than Rishi Sunak who finds himself easily assimilated to the globalized elite”said Tim Bale, professor at Queen Mary University of London. “Like Boris Johnson, he defends the idea of ​​an elite that must be resisted and show himself outside the establishment, even though he has been in government for eight years”he added.

Liz Truss promised to lower taxes

To please his voters, he promised to cut taxes to spur growth and reduce bureaucracy. If elected, he will “Focus on energy prices for consumers and how to revive the UK economy” and ensured that there is “a bold project that will grow the economy”.

But the pressure can be enough to act quickly. The cost of living crisis has taken a dramatic turn in the UK, with the announcement of an 80% increase in household energy bills in October which could push inflation, above 10%, up to 22% according to the most alarming forecasts.

Many households are wondering how they will pay their bills this winter. Several strikes and demonstrations across all trades have rocked the country for weeks over wage increases. The “don’t pay UK” movement was also launched, whose members refuse to pay energy bills in the face of exploding costs.

The tension between France and the United Kingdom will not fall

On the international side, its strong positions, especially on Brexit, risk straining the United Kingdom’s relationship with Europe and France. For Elvire Fabry, researcher specializing in Brexit interviewed by The JDD, “Liz Truss wants to be the reincarnation of Thatcher and wants to reconnect with the traditional liberalism of the Conservative Party. She wants to be stronger than Johnson and use the sword in a personal confrontation.

Liz Truss was surprised when she refused to say if Emmanuel Macron “friend or foe” during the campaign. He said he would judge the president of France “in his works”. “The jury is still out”he added, making the room laugh.

Invited to respond to the vague answer of Liz Truss, Emmanuel Macron allowed himself a little warning a few hours ago: “It is never good to lose your habits in life. If I am asked the question, regardless of the person to be considered, I am not surprised for a second: the United Kingdom is a friend of France. We live in a complicated world, if we are not able, between the French and the British, to say whether we are friends or enemies – the term is not neutral – we are heading for serious problems. »

Bad omen for the many litigation files that exist between France and the United Kingdom. Among them, the management of post-Brexit issues, whether fishing or Northern Ireland, the question of migrant crossings from the North of France to England, or even the waste of water that is not managed by British companies in the Channel.

See also at The HuffPost: “Hasta la Vista, baby”: Boris Johnson plays “Terminator” for his final performance in the House

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