Liz Truss Resigns as Prime Minister after Shortest Tenure in U.K. History

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her resignation, outside Number 10 Downing Street, London, England, October 20, 2022. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Liz Truss, the Conservative Party leader in the United Kingdom, has resigned her prime ministership barely a month into her tenure, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.

Addressing reporters outside No. 10 Downing Street on Thursday, Truss said that she came into office at a time of “great economic and international instability” and that she was given a “mandate to change this.”

“I recognize… given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” she said.

Expectations were low from the beginning. According to one poll at the beginning of her tenure, only 12 percent of Brits thought she’d make a good national leader. Truss’s handling of her economic program has confirmed for many that she wasn’t ready for the position.

There had been growing friction within the Conservative Party in recent weeks as a chorus of internal dissent mounted over her desire to slash taxes. “I’ve had enough of talentless people putting a tick in the right box not because it’s in the national interest, but because it’s in their own personal interest to achieve ministerial position,” Sir Charles Walker the Conservative MP for Broxbourne told the BBC.

More than a dozen fellow Conservative MPs had called for Truss to resign in recent weeks. Truss fired her finance minister and close ally, Kwasi Kwarteng, recently and abandoned plans for massive tax cuts when the British Pound and bond market started plummeting.

The bad news keeps on piling up on the Conservative Party as they seemingly move from one prime minister to the next without any luck. Truss succeeded the scandal-ridden Boris Johnson and was the last prime minister to be appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. A Conservative Party leadership contest is set for the coming week as Truss’s successor is established. Johnson, in turn, took over from Theresa May who was harshly criticized by fellow Tories for her handling of Brexit.

The BBC’s Chief Political Correspondent said of Truss’s resignation, is an “unprecedented situation and an unprecedented short tenure as PM and an unprecedented crisis in British politics.”

Truss’s resignation makes her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. The previous record-holder was George Canning who died 119 days into his stint in 1827.

Ari Blaff is a news writer for National Review. His writing has appeared in Tablet Magazine, Quillette, City Journal, and Newsweek. He holds a Master's from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and writes from Toronto, Canada.