Britain will officially have a new leader — its fourth in just over six years — on Tuesday, when Liz Truss travels to Scotland to meet the Queen and get the official go-ahead to form a new government.
Truss won the Conservative Party leadership contest on Monday, defeating her Cabinet-colleague-turned-rival Rishi Sunak after a campaign that stretched across the summer.
She was not elected by the British public, but thanks to the votes of 81,326 Tory members. Now she must take charge of one of the world’s largest economies, and appeal to tens of millions of voters.
Truss is expected to announce her new Cabinet and speak outside Downing Street on Tuesday — but the reality is that few Brits appear overly excited about their new leader.
That’s because a spiralling cost-of-living crisis is the issue of the day. Household bills are soaring for every household, and Truss will be under pressure from day one to announce how she plans to help.
Truss also inherits a party that is tanking in opinion polls, after 12 years in power. A fall from grace for Boris Johnson, who was forced to quit after a seemingly endless series of scandals over rule-breaking and dishonesty, has tainted the reputations of many senior Tories by association — and Truss will look to signal a fresh start while maintaining the support of her party.
And, on the international stage, Truss must manage Britain’s response to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, while also overseeing a bitter spat with the EU over the UK’s post-Brexit arrangements.
Truss will start working on that looming in-tray later today.