It was the first time in the Queen’s 70-year reign that the handover took place during her summer retreat, rather than at Buckingham Palace in London. The ceremony, known as the ‘kissing the hands’, was moved to Scotland to provide certainty on the schedule due to the 96-year-old’s mobility issues.
Before heading north, Johnson addressed the nation surrounded by his family and a crowd of supporters, defiantly defending the scandal-hit mandate that was ultimately cut short by a rebellion by his own lawmakers.
He called on his party to unite behind Truss during the ‘difficult times’ facing the country of 67 million people, who will eagerly await her own speech on how she plans to cope with soaring bills energy and an impending winter of recession and labor. troubles.
With his signature blend of bombast and bluster, Johnson compared himself both to a booster rocket whose mission was accomplished and to a Roman ruler, Cincinnatus, who left power and retired in a small farm – only to return later as a dictator.
The classic benchmark will have done little to deter media speculation that the ousted leader may already be plotting a comeback, or supporters who have expressed regret over his departure and little enthusiasm for his successor.
“I’m like one of those booster rockets that served its purpose,” Johnson said. “I will now gently re-enter the atmosphere and dive invisibly into a remote and obscure corner of the Pacific,” he added. “Like Cincinnatus, I return to my plow.”
The country’s problems have worsened over the past two months as Johnson lacked the power to make major policy decisions after announcing his intention to step down.
Uncertainty rattled currency markets, sending the pound tumbling to $1.15, its weakest performance against the dollar since the 1980s.
Truss, 47, takes office a day after the 172,000 members of the Conservative Party elected her as leader of their party.
A conservative of a small government, she says her priority is to cut taxes and reduce regulations to fuel economic growth. Critics say it will further fuel inflation while not solving the cost of living crisis.
After winning the race to succeed Johnson, Truss vowed to “deliver” on the country’s economy, energy crisis and overburdened health care system, though she offered few details about her policies.
Truss is under pressure to explain how she plans to help people and businesses struggling to pay energy bills which are set to rise next month to 3,500 pounds ($4,000) for the average household, the triple the cost of a year ago.
Truss’ first task will be to appoint a Cabinet to tackle the mountain of government challenges.
She will also have to deal with multiple foreign policy crises, including the war in Ukraine and the frosty post-Brexit relationship with the European Union.
As Foreign Secretary, Truss was a strong supporter of Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion, and as Prime Minister she will continue the UK’s civilian and military support to Kyiv. She said her first phone call with a world leader would be with the president Volodymyr Zelensky.
She is likely to have much colder conversations with EU leaders, who have been annoyed by her hardline stance as foreign secretary in trade rules talks for Northern Ireland, an issue unresolved Brexit which has deteriorated relations between London and Brussels.