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Liz Truss told ‘no more time to waste’ on cost of living

Moment Liz Truss is announced as new Tory leader and next prime minister

Liz Truss has been warned that there is “no more time to waste” in tackling the cost of living crisis, after defeating Tory leadership Rishi Sunak in a bruising six-week race to succeed Boris Johnson.

Meanwhile, Priti Patel announced she is standing down as home secretary and will not serve in Ms Truss’s government.

Ms Truss was warned she faces of one of the toughest in-trays of any new prime minister in decades as she is handed the keys to No 10 at Balmoral on Tuesday, with Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford among many insisting that “action is needed now” to “save millions from hardship this winter”.

In contrast with her campaign rhetoric, Ms Truss is considering freezing energy bills as part of a support package that could be on the scale of the Covid furlough scheme introduced by Mr Sunak while chancellor.

Ms Truss did not deny support measures could cost £100bn, though she has repeatedly ruled out raising taxes to pay for new spending.


Tory voters have no confidence in Liz Truss to address cost of living crisis, poll finds

Most Conservative voters have no or little confidence in Liz Truss’s ability to address the cost of living crisis, a new poll has found (Jon Stone writes).

The incoming prime minister faces an uphill battle to convince the public she is on their side – with 67 per cent of all voters and even 54 per cent of Tories expressing doubts.

Expectations for Ms Truss’s premiership are at rock bottom with just 14 per cent of voters expecting her to be an improvement on Boris Johnson, the survey by YouGov found.

Ms Truss has said she will avoid “handouts” and instead focus on tax cuts, including to environmental levies that fund green energy investments.


Tory ‘warfare’ will subside under Liz Truss, says former leader

Tory “warfare” will subside under the leadership of Liz Truss, Iain Duncan Smith said.

The former minister, who was leader of the party from 2001-03, was asked by Andrew Marr on LBC about the prospect of backbench rebellion under Ms Truss.

Mr Duncan Smith replied: “There will always be a few rebels … but I think you’re not going to see the kind of internecine warfare taht was taking place in the last days of Boris.

“It got very bad. People weren’t talking to eachother. People were saying it’s time he went, others defending him.

“That I think is gone.”


Liz Truss to pay less than £2,000 for Downing Street energy bills this winter, Labour says

Liz Truss will pay less than £2,000 for her energy bills at Downing Street this winter if she wins the Tory race, according to analysis by Labour (Adam Forrest writes).

Ms Truss is set to move into the flat above No 11 Downing Street on Tuesday.

But she “won’t face the same concerns” as ordinary Britons because her utility bills will be subsidised by the taxpayer, said Labour.

Electricity, gas and water at the No 10 and No 11 flats are covered by the state as a “benefit in kind” – with Ms Truss only set to pay tax on the perk of around £1,980 this winter.


Time to leave the ‘culture wars’ aside, Khan tells Truss

London mayor Sadiq Khan has said he hopes incoming prime minister Liz Truss “puts aside the culture wars” which have been key topics of debate during the Tory leadership contest.

Speaking at College Green outside parliament, Mr Khan told the PA news agency: “On a personal basis, and I mean it sincerely, I congratulate Liz Truss for winning the Conservative election contest today, and for tomorrow becoming the prime minister of our country.

“I think although we come from different political traditions, I think we share surely the same common desire to see our capital city succeeding and our country succeeding.

“So I’m hoping that she puts aside some of this anti-London nonsense that we’ve seen over the last two to three years, that she puts aside some of the culture wars that we’ve seen engaged in over the last few years – pitting one part of the country against the other, pitting one community against another – and working together during this national crisis to respond to some of the big challenges we’re facing.”

Khan on College Green this afternoon



Labour was ‘worried’ Ben Wallace would become Tory leader

Some Labour MPs were a “bit worried” Ben Wallace might become leader of the Conservative Party, Labour’s Barry Sheerman has said.

Mr Wallace, the defence secretary, was an early favourite in the race, with polls projecting he would have beat Liz Truss before he announced he would not run.

Asking a question in the Commons after Mr Wallace’s made a statement on Ukraine earlier, Mr Sheerman, the MP for Huddersfield, said: “Is the Secretary of State aware that some of us on this side of the House were a bit worried that he might become leader of the Conservative Party?

“But can I congratulate him on being determined to stay as secretary of state for defence, and he certainly would have many of our support because of the way he’s handled that job in recent days or months.”

Mr Wallace replied: “Thank you for your kind comments. I don’t know what to say to him, but I think … wasn’t for me.

“I think some people are braver than I am when it comes to that type of job. So I think I’m lucky that in this house I feel fulfilled, and there aren’t many people in politics who get to make a difference. So as far as I go, I’m delighted that … who knows, I am off to the Home Office.”

After some MPs burst out laughing, the defence secretary added: “I would just say we’ll carry on, and we’ll carry on working across the house to make sure that we not only look after our troops, we look after our people, but we also look after the people of Ukraine.”

Mr Wallace endorsed Ms Truss in the leadership race.


Priti Patel quits: Letter to Boris Johnson in full

Priti Patel posted her letter to Boris Johnson confirming the end of her time as home secretary on Twitter:


Priti Patel quits as home secretary

Priti Patel has ruled out serving in Liz Truss’s government and said she will quit as home secretary when the new prime minister is formally appointed.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, Ms Patel said she intended to move to the backbenches before Ms Truss appoints a new home secretary.

More on this breaking news as it comes:


Just one-fifth of British public pleased that Liz Truss won

A YouGov poll has found just 22 per cent of the British public was pleased that Liz Truss will be the next prime minister after winning the Tory leadership race against Rishi Sunak.

Half of the public said they were disappointed, while 28 per cent said they “don’t know” how to feel.

Among Conservative voters, 41 per cent were pleased by Ms Truss’s victory – lower than the 47 per cent of eligible Tory members who voted for her.

At Monday’s announcement, it emerged there are 172,437 Tory members who were eligible to vote in the contest and that 82.6 per cent chose to take part.


Boris Johnson did not discuss Liz Truss with Ukraine’s Zelensky

Boris Johnson did not discuss his successor as prime minister, Liz Truss, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Downing Street said.

The outgoing prime minister and his counterpart in Kyiv spoke often after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Mr Johnson travelled to Ukraine three times since June.

He said he looked forward to staying friends with Mr Zelensky.

Asked if the change of leadership came up during their conversations, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “No.”

It is unclear how Ms Truss’s leadership will affect Britain’s support for Ukraine in the war, though she has indicated she would try to maintain Mr Johnson’s strong relationship with Mr Zelensky.

She said in July that Mr Zelensky would be the first foreign leader she would call in No 10.


The first man: Who is Liz Truss’s husband Hugh O’Leary?

Liz Truss will be accompanied in No 10 by Hugh O’Leary, her husband, who has largely stayed out of the spotlight during his wife’s rise to the top of British public life.

The accountant and soon-to-be new first man has his own political story to tell, though his career with the Conservatives took quite a different trajectory to his wife’s at an early stage.

Born in 1974, Mr O’Leary was reportedly brought up in Allerton, Liverpool, and went on to study at the London School of Economics. He met his future wife at the 1997 Conservative Party conference.

Mr O’Leary stood as a Tory candidate in the local elections in Greenwich in 2002, taking only 447 votes to fall far short of his Labour rivals. He has continued to play a role in the party, according to The Times, canvassing as recently as this year in Greenwich, where he and Ms Truss have a house.

Things have not always been plain sailing for the couple. Ms Truss’s public image hit the rocks in 2006 after it emerged she had an affair with married Conservative MP Mark Field.

Her candidacy for her Norfolk seat three years later narrowly survived an attempt by traditionalist members of her local Tory association to deselect her following the ordeal.

According to the BBC, she said at the time of the row: “It’s been public for some years now.

“I am really sorry about that [affair]. It’s a mistake I made and as far as me and my husband are concerned it’s water under the bridge.”

Mr O’Leary has stood by his wife.

Truss with O-Leary at the announcement of the leadership race winner today


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