Liz Truss Closing On To Become Next UK PM, Rishi Sunak Trails: Report

Liz Truss Closing On To Become Next UK PM, Rishi Sunak Trails: Report

Prior to the conclusion of voting by Conservative party members on Friday, Liz Truss appears certain to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom after a taxing statewide campaign that included twelve hustings and three television debates, news agency AFP reported.

Before Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally presents his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II the next day, the outcome of the summer-long campaign pitting the foreign secretary against former chancellor Rishi Sunak will be made public on Monday.

Early in August, a month after Johnson announced his departure, the estimated 200,000 Tory members began voting through mail and online. Voting ends at 5:00 pm (1600 GMT).

In member polls, Truss gets resounding support over Sunak.

The winner, though, will have a vanishingly brief political honeymoon after seeing the queen in the Scottish Highlands, when they return to 10 Downing Street.

With inflation surging by double digits and energy costs skyrocketing as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the UK is experiencing its greatest cost of living crisis in centuries.

According to surveys, millions of people think they will have to choose between paying for food and heating this winter since their expenses are expected to increase by 80% starting in October and further in January.

Truss promised tax cuts, but they wouldn’t help the most vulnerable people.

The Tory front-runner has been dismissing direct handouts for several weeks, and on Wednesday at the last hustings, he went even farther by restating former US president George Bush’s promise of no new taxes, which he promptly breached.

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Truss, though, promised to “provide prompt help to ensure households are not suffering unsustainable fuel costs” this winter in an article published in The Sun on Thursday.

In order to preserve Johnson’s Brexit legacy, she stated, “I firmly believe that in these trying times, we need to be radical.”

After months of scandal, Tory MPs turned against Johnson, their Brexit hero, and chose Sunak over Truss as their preferred candidate to lead them until the next general election, which is scheduled for January 2025.

However, the party’s grassroots have backed Truss’s right-wing agenda despite the fact that she was a former Liberal Democrat and supported remaining in the EU during the 2016 British vote.

After Truss adhered to a straightforward plan over the protracted, sweltering summer of campaigning, John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, told AFP, “She’s a better politician.”

“Sunak has demonstrated some of the qualities you might hope to see in a good minister. But Miss Truss has demonstrated the qualities that you need in a politician,” Curtice added.

Regardless of the outcome, recent surveys of the general electorate indicate that the Conservatives will find it more difficult to maintain their 12-year hold on office.

The Conservatives have taken their time choosing a new leader, plagued by infighting despite the larger crises, and the Labour party has benefited by criticising Johnson’s “zombie administration.”

As the economic situation becomes the most dire since Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, the main opposition party currently enjoys a double-digit lead over the Tories in surveys.

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(With Inputs From AFP)