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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Boris Johnson expected to stand in contest to replace UK PM Truss

Word came just 90 minutes after Liz Truss had announced her resignation outside Downing Street: Boris Johnson was considering running for the Tory leadership again and was planning to fly back from his Caribbean holiday to Westminster.

Former British prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to stand in the Conservative Party leadership contest to replace Liz Truss, who said earlier on Thursday she would resign, the Times reported.

“He’s taking soundings but is said to believe it is a matter of national interest,” Times Political Editor Steven Swinford said on Twitter.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation on Thursday afternoon and said there will be another leadership election within the ruling Conservative Party, which will decide who succeeds her.

Read more: Liz Truss resigns as UK prime minister

She stepped down after only 45 days at 10 Downing Street.

This makes Truss the shortest-serving PM in UK history and the country’s fourth leader in just over three years. Her replacement will be appointed in the coming week, Euronews reported.

Truss, who had said on Wednesday she was a “fighter and not a quitter”, told the mass of journalists gathered in Downing Street that she realised she could no longer deliver on the promises that won her the Conservative leadership.

“I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” said Truss, who was supported only by her husband with her aides and loyal ministers noticeably absent.

A new leadership election will be completed by next Friday, Oct. 28.

Read more: Liz Truss becomes British PM narrowly defeats Indian origin, Rishi Sunak

Jeremy Hunt, the man brought in to rescue the public finances, has ruled himself out.

There has been some speculation that Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom, might become the next Prime Minister of the UK.

Appointed on Sept. 6, Truss was forced to sack her finance minister and closest political ally, Kwasi Kwarteng, and abandon almost all her economic programme after their plans for vast unfunded tax cuts crashed the pound and British bonds. Approval ratings for her and the Conservative Party collapsed.

On Wednesday she lost the second of the government’s four most senior ministers, faced laughter as she tried to defend her record to parliament and saw her lawmakers openly quarrel over policy, deepening the sense of chaos at Westminster.