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Liz Truss wins leadership race to become UK’s next PM

Liz Truss wins leadership race to become UK’s next PM
New UK prime minister Liz Truss (Image credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has won the race to become the UK’s next prime minister after securing a 57 per cent vote from her fellow party members.

Truss, most recently secretary of state for foreign, commonwealth and development affairs, secured 81,326 votes, while rival candidate and former chancellor Rishi Sunak secured a lesser 60,399 votes.

Voting for the next prime minister closed on Friday (September 2) at 5pm. Results were announced today (September 5) in Westminster in front of MPs and peers.

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On Friday, odds were heavily in Truss’ favour, with Sunak trailing behind. The latest YouGov poll put Truss at 66 per cent of the vote, and Sunak at 34 per cent.

Truss has stirred much debate around her proposed policies as prime minister.

Last month, it was revealed she was eyeing up plans to merge three of the financial regulators - the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Payments Systems Regulator. Advisers have since said her plans are destined to fail.

The new prime minister has also said she will look at UK energy price freeze to tackle spiralling bills, reverse the incoming hike in National Insurance contributions to soften the living cost crisis, and “sort out” the problems with doctors’ pensions in a bid to tackle the staff retention crisis.

Other promises include changes to self-employment taxation and a substantial rise in the state pension.

Truss is not expected to give Sunak a job in her new cabinet. Instead, she is tipped to appoint Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, Suella Braverman as home secretary and James Cleverly as foreign secretary.

The Tory leadership race began on July 12. Tory leadership candidates who were knocked out in the first round included Penny Mordaunt, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, and Nadhim Zahawi.

The search for a new prime minister started after outgoing leader Boris Johnson announced his resignation on July 7. His departure was pre-empted by at least 50 government minister resignations in less than a week.

Resignations began after it came to light that Johnson appointed now-disgraced former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher despite being briefed on his alleged sexual misconduct.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com