Liz Truss, a right-wing politician of the Conservative Get together, is at present favorite to turn into Britain’s subsequent prime minister, to interchange scandal-hit Boris Johnson.
The 47-year-old entered Parliament in 2010, and by 2014, she settled into her first cupboard place – secretary of state for setting, meals and rural affairs below David Cameron.
She since served below Theresa Could and Johnson in numerous positions. In 2021, she was handed the highest position of international secretary.
However she has not all the time been a Conservative. Raised by left-wing dad and mom, she was a teenaged member of the centrist Liberal Democrats, and at 19, known as for the abolition of the monarchy.
Now, “Truss is on the [Conservative] occasion’s proper, and he or she is an instinctive free-trade libertarian and isn’t a pure supporter of levelling up,” David Jeffery, lecturer in British politics on the College of Liverpool, instructed Al Jazeera, referring to a coverage touted by Johnson aimed toward decreasing inequality.
Within the June 2016 referendum on European Union membership, Truss voted in contradiction to Johnson and was in favour of remaining within the bloc.
“Though she supported ‘stay’ within the referendum, she has, with the zeal of the convert, turn into a agency pro-leave politician,” mentioned Jeffery.
He believes that her work as international minister was unimpressive.
“Truss’s tenure as international secretary was fairly low-key. She was a really lively (and social-media savvy) worldwide commerce secretary, however appeared to fade as a international secretary. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she was overshadowed by the prime minister and the defence secretary, Ben Wallace,” Jeffery mentioned.
In contrast to her competitor Rishi Sunak, Truss was among the many few cupboard members who remained loyal to Johnson earlier this month as he confronted a celebration rebel.
This sense of loyalty appears to be appreciated, and could possibly be why she is the present favorite to run the federal government. She has secured the help of main Conservative politicians, together with Wallace and a former longing for the premiership, Tom Tugendhat.
Within the coming weeks, Conservative Get together members will determine who will succeed Johnson.
A latest YouGov survey discovered 31 p.c intend to vote for Sunak, whereas 49 p.c plan to vote for Truss.
Whereas a win appears believable, the race is just not but run, Alan Convery, senior lecturer in politics on the College of Edinburgh, cautioned.
He instructed Al Jazeera: “She begins in a powerful place as a result of opinion polls of Conservative members present that she is forward. Nonetheless, there’s a lengthy solution to go between now and September [when the result will be announced]. Sunak will probably be doing all he can to enchantment to the membership.”
As international secretary, Truss promoted “World Britain”, in search of to strengthen the UK’s position in worldwide politics.
In 2021, she outlined her understanding of British international coverage throughout a speech at Chatham Home, figuring out an ideological battle between freedom and authoritarian regimes reminiscent of in Russia and China.
She cited the Complete and Progressive Commerce Settlement (CPTPA) between 11 Pacific states, which she thought of a bulwark in opposition to China and which London ought to be a part of. This was a imaginative and prescient that was “in its essence, Thatcherite”, the Economist journal famous afterwards.
Truss by no means tires of declaring her admiration for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Nonetheless, this comparability doesn’t all the time profit her.
For months she has been entertaining the British with professionally styled images which can be virtually a carbon copy of Thatcher moments, reminiscent of when she visited Moscow, wearing a protracted coat and fur hat – identical to Thatcher 35 years earlier.
Truss is pledging 30 billion kilos ($37bn) in tax cuts, just like Thatcher, who lowered private revenue tax within the Eighties, and guarantees speedy motion to assist folks address the rising value of dwelling.
The tax lower, based on Truss, would rein inflation whereas boosting progress.
“Trussonomics” is the time period used for her proposal, her very personal model of supply-side economics, a key function of Thatcher’s financial insurance policies.
Her plans additionally embody rescinding a deliberate improve in company revenue tax and reversing the latest improve in social safety charges.
And on the cultural entrance, Truss has declared battle on “id politics”.
“There isn’t any query that Truss has sometimes styled herself after Thatcher. However whereas Thatcher had a transparent thought of what she needed the nation to appear to be, it’s not clear Truss has the identical imaginative and prescient,” mentioned Jeffery. “Truss’s appreciation of Thatcher (and, it must be mentioned, Sunak’s) are based mostly on a partial understanding of Thatcher, or a caricature of what Thatcher/Thatcherism really was.”
Apart from Thatcher, Truss additionally affords post-Boris Johnson continuity, significantly regarding Brexit.
However whereas she was considered as a troublesome negotiator with the bloc and “very bellicose on the EU, [this] received’t really remedy any of the problems [between the UK and EU] in Northern Eire or France.”
Requested about her U-turn in 2017, from pro-remain to pro-leave, Truss mentioned the “large financial issues haven’t come to cross” and “I’ve additionally seen the alternatives”.
“Having been a ‘Remainer’, she has now positioned herself as a champion of the alternatives of Brexit and has subsequently attained the help of key supporters of Brexit like [Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob] Rees-Mogg,” Convery mentioned.
In essence, Truss would indicate extra continuity with Johnson than Sunak, as Britain’s subsequent PM, Convery mentioned.
“I believe she would wish to get rid of all the Johnson-era unforced errors within the Downing Avenue operation however proceed with fairly a confrontational method in direction of Brussels. Nonetheless, if she carries out her promise to chop tax, it could mark a departure from the financial emphasis below Johnson.”