Liz Truss announced her resignation as prime minister of England on October 18th 2022. She was in office for only 44 days, making her the shortest serving prime minister in British history.
Her resignation was a result of weeks of poorly planned out decisions, such as her attempt to cut taxes without providing a plan for how to pay for it. This poor decision caused the stock market to crash. As a result, Truss grew very unpopular. Her unpopularity was not limited to the public, as even her own Conservative Party lawmakers were publicly discussing replacing her.
Immediately after the tax cuts, the value of the British pound fell and banks had to raise interest rates which caused the cost of taking out a mortgage to soar. For many British residents this is a serious problem because their fixed rate mortgages are ending and interest rates are rising. In the UK, most mortgages are either 2 or 5 year mortgages, much shorter terms than the common American 30 year fixed rate mortgage.
The fact that the tax cuts had failed was a real blow to Truss and the Conservative Party because it is one of their main focuses as a party.
According toYouGov, Truss’s net favorability was at -70 percent, only a little bit above President Vladimir Putin among British residents. Although Truss did have a disadvantage as prime minister because a couple days after she took office Queen Elizabeth II passed, she still made mistakes that impacted the economy severely.
Truss had said in her resignation speech that she would stay in office until someone else was elected prime minister. On October 24, 2022, Rishi Sunak was elected prime minister. He is part of the English Conservative Party. He is also the first person of color to ever be elected as Prime Minister in England.
After accepting this role from King Charles III, Sunak told a crowd of journalists,
“It is only right to explain why I am standing here as your new prime minister… Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis.”
Many political experts consider Sunak to be the last hope for the struggling Conservative Party. He has two years to get the economy back on track if he wants any chance of avoiding a wipeout in the 2024 election.
Sunak has been scrutinized over his wealth. He and his wife have appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List of the UK’s 250 wealthiest people. Many feel that this puts him out of touch with the average person.
A UK citizen and San Marcos parent says, “Now we have Rishi Sunak who has more money than God and was educated in the USA and has a “start up” mentality. He was quoted as telling wealthy conservative voters that he was going to get them back money that had started going to poorer communities in the UK…It’s been disgusting and a display of all that is wrong with the way politics is conducted and how democracy ceases to do what’s best for the country at large.”
Sunak was also one of the people to critique Truss’s economic plan early on. Unlike Truss, Sunak believed that England could thrive outside the EU in the Brexit referendum.
Overall both England’s economy and the prime minister are at a point of instability which is not helped by an overall global instability. Only time will tell what the outcome will be.